Exchanging value with other individuals was a critical milestone in the human evolution and the way our ancestors first began to interact with each other.
Collaborating with groups in the earliest tribes meant specializing roles and social contracts – some people hunted and gathered whilst others nurtured new generations. The mutual benefit was implicit and enforced by social norms. But what if you wanted to interact with someone outside your regular group? Some kind of exchange of value was needed: “you give us half that elk carcass, and we’ll share our cave through the coming storm. Win-win”. No central authority mediated the exchange, the benefits were clear and immediate, and nothing else was needed. No AML, trusted transactions, or records being kept – although some of the earliest written communications in history do appear to have been ledgers of some kind, maybe writing evolved to support P2P exchanges.
In fact, it’s not just humans who understand this, many species can also understand the value of P2P transacting – learning to perform tasks for researchers in exchange for rewards like food.
Higher primates can be taught to use tokens of exchange too, to understand ‘money’ – from which they rapidly progress to depressingly human-like behaviors from hoarding and theft to protection rackets and prostitution. Currencies and centralization may lead inevitably to corruption – but we must never forget that P2P came first.
And if the cryptocurrency movement is to recover its original intentions of trustlessness, this what we need to get back to. LocalCoinSwap understands this, and have built their platform around the P2P experience:
“P2P platforms started to disrupt the financial sector over a decade ago”, explains Thomas Underwood, LocalCoinSwap Chief Technical Officer, “with the emergency of lending tools like Zopa and Affirm, enabling investors to connect directly with potential borrowers. In the dawn of the ‘sharing economy’, people who cared about P2P talked a lot about their ability to cut out banks as middlemen, for the brokerage of credit. Nowadays we have similar services like Transferwise for the exchange of fiat currencies, matching buyers and sellers in different markets.”
“But in reality, these services are still highly centralized, because they depend on third party maintenance of a central ledger, and need to be underpinned by huge amounts of escrow funding. As such, the main players in each market tended to quickly apply for banking licenses – modeling themselves on the very industries they were supposed to be disrupting”.
By exploiting fundamental qualities of blockchain technology, however, LocalCoinSwap has been able to create a true P2P trading platform without the need for centralized control:
“What the immutable blockchain ledger brings to accounting is truly a revolution on a par with the invention of double-entry bookkeeping. This is the 21st Century Renaissance!” Thomas continues enthusiastically. “Instead of needing a third party to reconcile the separate records based on each party’s transaction receipts, buyers and sellers can write their transactions directly into a joint blockchain register, immediately creating an incorruptible system of enduring accounting record.”
“And using ERC20-based smart contracts to fix the deal up-front, that means funds can be disbursed accurately and immediately according to fixed contractual rules, creating a genuinely peer-to-peer environment for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. “
“But because the peers interacting on the platform are more than just a bunch of private keys, we’re providing a comprehensive set of human community building tools as well – profiles, ratings, and reviews, will all help establish both trust and interactivity, and create a true marketplace, of individuals, trading with each other directly without hierarchy or third party control – that’s what P2P is all about at its heart”.
Of course, P2P exchanges already exist in crypto, but one of the stand-out unique selling points for LocalCoinSwap is the sheer scope. P2P at scale, accepting any fiat currency as a point of entry and planning to launch with the top 10 cryptos on-board for immediate exchange, and a growing number of new launches to be added.
“We extend the P2P philosophy beyond that of our community of traders, it includes those innovating in the space to offer ICOs and new products”, Thomas concludes. “We’ll invite carefully-vetted new token launches to trade on our platform, where they can incentivize our traders – who are platform shareholders in any case – by offering them airdrops of their tokens. That way we’ll support emergent startups, reward our LCS Cryptoshare investors, and continue to encourage new ideas and participants into the marketplace. We’re taking P2P to a whole new level”.
Intrigued? You should be. You can find out more by joining the presale on March 15th – and in the meantime, you stay in touch with the team directly on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter and register on the Website.