AnyRent: Peer-to-peer rental and shared ownership service


A lot of effort has been made to reduce the carbon footprint. Buying local, eating less meat, choosing reusable packaging - many steps were made already towards being greener. There are also a lot of technical solutions that aim to improve sustainability. However, it's not enough. The key problem, which is the root of this evil, is overconsumption. As it was said in the World Economic Forum [1]:

We cannot rely on technology alone to solve existential environmental problems – like climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. We also have to change our affluent lifestyles and reduce overconsumption, in combination with structural change. - Professor Tommy Wiedmann from Australia’s University of New South Wales Engineering

We buy because we can. And sometimes we buy things that they we don't even use in the end or use rarely. These things reside in the attic collecting dust, while companies are using more and more resources to create new items. Why not just rent out these things when you don't need them? And get them back when you need it again? In a secure way. For example, a bit travel suitcase - you rarely need it, but you still have to find storage for it! So we came up with the idea to organiser peer-to-peer rental and ownership serivce, that helps people to rent from each other or organise a co-ownership.

What it does

Imagine, there is a girl called Lily. She is 24 and she is all excitied about skateboarding, so she goes and buys a new skateboard. Later Lily finds a job in a big corporation, and she doesn't have time for her hobby anymore. It just takes space. She still wants to own it because she thinks he might get back to her hobby. Lily uses AnyRent to offer her skateboard to people nearby for a while, while being secured by the contract that she will get it back in a good condition.

Next, there is Steven, 18, who is not sure he will like skateboarding, but wants to try it for a couple of months. Steven uses AnyRent to rent a skateboard for a few weeks and then return it, knowing if he wants one forever or if he will be just renting it from time to time.

And finally there is Amy and Mark who live on the same street. They don't know each other, but they both like creating music from time to time. Buying a full new equipment alone is expensive and they will have to save for a long time. They use AnyRent to search for a potential co-owner and find each other. They they request and confirm co-ownership of the item using the app, that tracks and verifies fair usage schedule.

Key features

  • Users can rent from each other paying by coins
  • No actual money involved - the system is based on trust
  • [F] All the changes to the item are recorded in the blockchain
  • [F] Users can co-own items using smart contracts and sheduling
  • [F] Users have standardized contracts with conditions stored in transactions

How we built it

We used Flask for the REST API and React for the frontend. We also set up the environment for smart contracts, but unfortunately we didn't have time to fully implement it.

Challenges we ran into

For us as a team it was very hard to come up with the idea and formulate it nicely. For a long time we were stuck with "everything is already implemented", but then we had the 'a-ha' moment. The biggest challenge for us was also not to sleep for such a long time.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of the speed of interaction that we've achieved. We are also proud that we implemented so much in a limited time. Of course, it never feels enough, but we think we did quite a lot.

What we learned

Basics of blockchain and teamwork at the speed of light.

What's next for AnyRent

Implementing smart contracts and co-ownership.

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