Challenges

How can virtual currencies and smart contracts support a pay-per-wash business model?

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Brief

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What if instead of owning a washing machine, you simply paid for every load you did?

What if this didn't require you to lug your dirty laundry out onto the street into the nearest laundromat, but actually happened within the comfort of your own house?

What if this was both cheaper AND better for the environment than your good old washer-dryer?

This is what Bundles is striving for.

Pay-per-what?

Otherwise known as pay-per-use or products-as-a-service (PaaS) business models, this new way of prioritising access over ownership turns producers and manufacturers into service providers, enables them to retain ownership of their products, and in doing so gives them an incentive to create greater value by offering high-quality, durable products that can be easily upgraded, repaired, refurbished, and taken back at the end of their useful life - ultimately bridging the circularity gap.

These models still face unique financial challenges, however - from higher transaction costs to higher upfront capital requirements and more complex information and monetary flows - that makes it harder for them to succeed.

To unpack and solve exactly these challenges, a consortium of financial and technology experts will be piloting the Bundles proposition on a blockchain (DLT) system consisting of a virtual currency that allows for micro-payments and of smart contracts that can support pay-per-use models.

Goals of this challenge

This online challenge complements the Community of Practice and aims to open up the debate to a global audience in order to identify key opportunity areas for virtual currencies, micropayments, smart contracts, and other blockchain applications to increase the viability of such a pay-per-wash business model.

Key learnings from both the challenge and the Community of Practice will be combined and shared in an open-source whitepaper to inform entrepreneurs and financial institutions, and to inspire and support new and existing pay-per-use business models.

As the challenge progresses, Circle Economy, Sustainable Finance Lab, and other partners in the Community of Practice are also eager to explore future partnership opportunities with participants around the world.

Check out the Contribution Guide for more information.

Timeline

We are currently at the Ideation stage of this challenge, where we collaboratively work on identifying key opportunities for virtual currencies, micro-payments, and smart contracts to support and stimulate pay-per-wash business models like Bundles. Check out the Contribution Guide for more information on how to contribute to this phase. 

For an overview of the challenge timeline, check out this document

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Challenge Timeline

Ideation

Ideation phase has ended

Please refer to the Contribution Guide linked in the challenge brief above for more information on what and how to contribute to this phase.