FAQ & Videos

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers & Videos

Peer-to-peer Society

What is the peer-to-peer (P2P) society?

The experiment of trying to build civil society on the ideas of self-interest, moral relativity, the law and regulation has proved to be an abject failure as well as a dangerous attack on freedom. The peer-to-peer economy with its feedback mechanism and reputation maintenance proves what we have always known that the formula for civil society starts and ends with individual social maturity. In other words, it starts and ends with the traditional idea of the importance of character building.

This works because socially mature individuals make better decisions and better life choices because they are able to take into account more factors beyond self-interest and self-gratification.

The peer-to-peer society is about building, creating and maintaining civil society by improving decision-making at both the individual and collective level. This is achieved by putting a value on behaviour through community feedback.

Putting a value on behaviour builds social maturity and increases levels of trust, which underpins cooperative effort – the ultimate cause of all human progress.

The following two short videos explain the concept and the rationale.

What is P2P government?

P2P government is about improving decision-making at the collective  level in two key ways:

  1. By enabling citizens to participate in government decision-making on key issues through direct feedback, which is analyzable and verifiable.
  2. By ensuring that only socially mature individuals get elected to positions of power.

Why the descriptor of peer-to-peer?

The descriptor peer-to-peer reflects the change in relationship between the electorate and its government made possible by the new communication technologies.

Under representative government, voters are people to be convinced to vote for a representative once every three to four years with little or no say of what happens in the interim.

Under P2P government voters are people who are peers in the decision-making process on an ongoing basis.

How will P2P government lead to better government decisions and outcomes?

P2P government will improve government decision-making in the following key ways:

  1. The modern world is extremely complex and often beyond the capacity of individual politicians to be able to adequately consider all the implications of any piece of legislation. Referring back to the community enables the politicians to tap into the collective brain.
  2. Because the community will own key decisions the political blame game will end, enabling iteration to the best solution.
  3. Ending the blame game will mean that politically tough but necessary decisions can now be implemented.
  4. The influence of lobbyists, special interest groups and ideology driven politicians will be minimized.

P2P government finally addresses the key problems and limitations of representative government.

What are the key problems with representative government?

The key problems and limitations with any representative style of government include:

  • Representative forms of government do not represent the people; they represent political parties or ideologies.
  • Handing complete power over to representatives will always run foul of the age-old truism – power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  • Representative forms of government attracts people who seek power to rule rather than to serve.

P2P government will bring to an end the increasingly dysfunctional nature of party politics.

How will P2P government end party politics?

Party politics is based on the idea that once a political party gains office it has a mandate to implement every policy no matter how ill-thought out it may be. That is not the modern world. In the modern world people support policies on their merits not based on political affiliation.

P2P government ends party politics by enabling citizens to participate in the decision-making process on a policy by policy basis.

How does P2P government curb the influence of lobbyists and interest groups?

Representative forms of government are often subverted by well-funded lobbyists and interest groups.

Under P2P government, this risk is mitigated because key decisions are referred to the electorate.

Why is social maturity important in elected officials?

Socially mature individuals, when making decisions, are able to take into account many more factors beyond self-interest, self-gratification and self-aggrandisement. This makes social maturity the best way to guard against the abuse and misuse of power.

Socially immature individuals, in particular those with sociopathic tendencies, wreak enormous damage once in power.

Sociopaths often get elected to positions of power because they are often highly intelligent, manipulative and ruthless while appearing charming and accommodating.

Sociopaths are attracted to party politics because it provides a pathway to potentially enormous power over others.

How is social maturity determined?

The emerging peer-to-peer services like ridesharing and room-letting have paved the way with the concept of online reputation management through online feedback.

This protects both sides of the transaction much more efficiently and effectively than any government regulation.

ThankUbank extends the concept of online reputation management to the broader community which means that the social maturity of any individual can be determined by referencing their online reputation on ThankUbank.

How does P2P government compare to direct democracy?

P2P government is better than direct democracy because it enables citizens to participate in government decisions through direct feedback while avoiding the “tyranny of the majority” problem of direct democracy.

In short, decisions are still made by representatives but based on consultation and direct feedback which is analyzable and verifiable.

How do citizens participate in P2P government decisions?

Citizens participate in P2P government by providing feedback on issues and key decisions in a similar way to a plebiscite, which can be either binding or non-binding depending on government policy.

There are three key differences:

  1. The cost is negligible when compared to the cost of running a traditional plebiscite, which means many can be run to improve decision-making.
  2. The results can be analyzed based on a variety of socio-demographic factors including the social-maturity of the respondents.
  3. The process is recursive, enabling people to change their minds throughout the course of a debate until a consensus is reached.

The ability to analyze the results based on the social maturity of the respondents provides one of the most important elements to effective decision-making.

We refer to this process as a P2P plebiscite.

Who can initiate a P2P plebscite?

Anyone can initiate a P2P plebiscite and its relevance and significance will be determined by the amount of community support it receives.

Can you provide an example of a P2P plebiscite?

To see how P2P plebiscites work check out our Same Sex Marriage P2P plebiscite. This is an open plebiscite and anyone from any part of the world is welcome to contribute and participate.

Peer-to-peer Economy

What is the P2P economy?

The P2P economy is about a more collaborative approach to sharing assets and resources made possible by the new communication technologies. It extends to just about every area of human activity from sharing cars and spare rooms to taking the time to help someone for nothing more than a slab of beer or just a heartfelt thankyou.

Ultimately it is about using technology to bypass the middlemen and intermediaries and to control behaviour through online feedback the reputation management rather than government regulation.

This results in reduced costs, less red tape, more responsive and better services and a greater sense of community.

How does ThankUbank fit into the new economy?

Central to the new economy is the need for trust. It is critically important to be able to trust who you share with, let into your house or collaborate with. The traditional approach of government and industry regulation no longer works in such a fast-paced and diverse environment creating a gap which ThankUbank fills by providing a standardized, centralized and universal reputation management service.

What is consumer-led pricing?

Consumer-led pricing is where consumers have a greater say in how prices are set. While the basic idea has been around for a little while it has little impact on the dominant paradigm of businesses controlling prices based solely on market competition.

The bottom-line is that consumer-led pricing will make goods and services more affordable for those on lower incomes. This will increase economic activity, create new efficiencies in the distribution of goods and services while improving the general health of society.

Consumer-led pricing will finally start to meaningfully address the many social problems associated with poverty and disadvantage while offering governments a way to reduce taxation without reducing service provision or service levels.

How can consumer-led pricing work with fixed costs?

Consumer-led pricing will evolve in a variety of ways to include areas of economic activity where costs are fixed.

Where costs are fixed, suppliers can use the idea of a minimum price instead of a fixed retail price.

Consumers can elect to pay the minimum price or pay extra as part of their social responsibility obligations.

Why would consumers pay more than the absolute minimum?

The simple answer is social maturity. Socially mature individuals have a wider worldview and are able to take into consideration a range of factors beyond simple self-interest.

Socially mature individuals donate, volunteer, contribute and help others whenever they can even if it means they may lose out in some way in the process.

Social maturity coupled with the potential outcomes of lower taxation, greater freedom, less inequality and generally healthier society will ensure those who can pay more, will.

This means that the greater levels of social maturity the greater the profits putting social maturity squarely in the self-interest of both the business community and of governments.

For governments, raising the level of social maturity will increase societal health, reduce the costs of maintaining social order as well as growing costs of dealing with crime and corruption at all levels of society.

How will consumer-led pricing impact on margins and profits?

While the concept of consumers setting the price may sound counter-intuitive, it is nothing more than the evolution of the general margin-setting process of suppliers.

Under the current paradigm, suppliers set the margins depending on the circumstances. At times they may increase their margins when competition is low or demand is high, at other times they may sell at a loss to clear stock, gain market share or some other reason.

Under the new paradigm, consumers play an active rather than passive role  in how the margins are set and profits achieved.

This will reduce the incidence of price wars while allowing competition to flourish.

How will consumer-led pricing eliminate price wars?

Price wars are often used to eliminate competition creating monopolies, duopolies and oligopolies and often the full cost is borne by the suppliers down the chain.

With consumer-led pricing, price wars will no longer guarantee increased market share because consumers will no longer be driven by just the retail price.

How will consumer-led pricing encourage fair competition?

Large suppliers use their buying power to provide the lowest prices. While this is fair and appropriate it shuts out the small suppliers who don’t have the same buying power.

Consumer-led pricing will enable small players to compete more effectively by focusing on other areas like quality, reliability and personalized service.

This will encourage robust but fair competition.

How does consumer-led pricing fit into the gig economy?

The reality of modern work life is that the job is more like a temporary gig rather than a lifetime vocation. This means there will be periods of high activity and high earnings and periods of downtime and low or no earnings.

Consumer-led pricing smooths out the cost of living expenses for the gig economy.

Taxi Ridesharing

Does ThankUbank allow ridesharing services?

Ridesharing is an integral part of the sharing economy which makes it an integral part of the ThankUbank service.

The current conflict between traditional services like taxis and ridesharing is the result of ridesharing operators trying to graft their service onto a business model that is now increasing outdated.

We are introducing a new business model based on consumer-led pricing which has the potential to expand the market for all service providers while meeting consumer needs in a completely different and more efficient way.

How can traditional services adapt or compete in this environment?

ThankUbank provides the means for traditional services to easily adapt to this new environment by changing their business models to include consumer-led pricing, starting with the taxi industry.

What is the new business model for the taxi industry?

The new model for the taxi industry involves riders setting the price for travel rather than
being charged a metered amount. It works in the following way:

  • Riders announce jobs as well as a price they feel is reasonable.
  • Riders can adjust their price offer based on responses, or lack of.
  • Drivers consider all offers and respond by bidding.
  • Drivers can bid on as many jobs as they like.
  • Riders vet the driver profiles and choose the best driver that suits their needs.
  • Once a job is accepted and agreed. ThankUbank provides GPS mapping and tracking.
  • On completion riders pay the set and agreed price.
  • Drivers and riders rate and comment on experience.

How does the new model help the taxi industry compete?

The new model, by taking pricing out of the equation, enables traditional service providers to compete on equal footing within the sharing economy. This will result in more people catching cabs, higher income for drivers because of reduced idle time and a much more efficient public transport service. Drivers will earn more because in peak times consumers will be prepared to offer more to get the service they want and drivers will not be idle, earning nothing, in off-peak times.

How does ThankUbank help ridesharing drivers?

Ridesharing has shown exponential growth but the inadequacy of the current business model based on price competition is driving down earnings to the point of creating what is increasingly being described as a new underclass of slave labour.

ThankUbank by taking pricing out of the equation opens up a new approach to service provision not just in transport but in many other areas of economic activity.

How are riding jobs allocated?

Under the existing model, jobs are allocated based on proximity. The nearest driver gets the job offer and the rider has little choice but to accept.

Under the new model jobs are “announced” based on proximity (within 3 kms). Drivers then consider the job details (including price) and then “bid” if they can and would like to do the job.

Riders consider all responses and choose the best and most suitable driver.

What do you mean by “bid”?

By bid we mean drivers flagging their acceptance to do a job. It does not mean drivers trying to outbid each other based on price.

Drivers have no control over the price; the rider has full control and can change the price to get more responses or better drivers with better cars.

Do driver have to bid/accept jobs announced?

Drivers do not have to bid on announced jobs. If they like the offer they can bid to do the job. If their bid is accepted by the rider they have to do the job otherwise a penalty of two hours off the system applies.

Drivers can bid on as many jobs as they like.

What if no drivers respond on a low price offer?

If no drivers respond on a particular job, riders can increase the price and re-announce. The higher the price, the more drivers will respond.

Isn’t this surge pricing in disguise?

Surge pricing is a market mechanism designed to better match supply and demand. The problem with the existing mechanism is that the consumers have no say. They simply get slugged a higher price.

Under our mechanism, consumers manage the supply/demand equation. There are no surprises and everyone wins.

Won’t this create a de facto price-war?

No, because this is a very efficient way of meeting supply and demand. Riders are always prepared to pay a fair price for value, knowing that drivers also have to make a living.

Some riders will offer low prices but these will not attract experienced drivers, except when drivers want to build up their Social Responsibility Index.

Drivers will quickly learn the price points that enable them to compete effectively while making a profit.

Does ThankUbank vet service providers?

Because ThankUbank is a global service, covering a myriad of service offerings it is not possible to vet service providers individually. The vetting is done through our comprehensive reputation management system.

We also require service providers to include as much information about themselves and their service as possible to help people make an informed choice.

For example, ridesharing service providers have to upload at least three images relating to their service. This can include images of the car, their credentials and any other information relating to their service.

How do riders pick drivers?

Depending on the job and price, riders may get numerous bids on their offer, which are presented based on proximity.

Riders can choose the best offer based on the ThankUbank reputation profile of the driver.

Does ThankUbank get a slice of the price?

No, we work on a subscription basis. The drivers keep 100% of whatever they earn.

Does ThankUbank provide a payment service?

Not at the moment but a payment service is on the way.

Does ThankUbank get involved in disputes?

No, we do not get involved in any disputes. We are like the online search engines providing a meeting point between consumers and suppliers.

Are any services precluded?

We preclude adult services and any activities of a criminal nature like drug production and distribution.

Do I need to download an app?

No, you don't need to download any apps. Our service works straight out of a modern browser. Just make sure you have the latest version of your preferred Internet browser.

Our Videos

Our ambitions, however, extend beyond the peer-to-peer economy, they include directly influencing the broader society by finally putting a value on positive behaviour through a universally-recognizable metric based on direct feedback.