P2P Solutions: An Open Source Investigation

02/22/201627 Comments

As we've discussed before, the peer-to-peer economy is emerging in surprising and empowering ways, with sites like RipeNear.me connecting people to local food sources in ways never before possible. But as the eye of Sauron (aka JP Morgan) alights on this new phenomenon, it's important that we take stock of the P2P economy before it is co-opted and corrupted. Join James for a new open source investigation into the P2P platforms that are helping to connect communities and empower individuals across the globe.

If you know of a helpful P2P platform (whether related to food, labour, lending or any other activity) please log in and leave it in the comments below.


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Episode 303 – Solutions: The Peer-to-Peer Economy

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Comments (27)

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  1. Corbett says:

    Let me start the ball rolling on this investigation with the first link:


    I just learned about this site the other day. Video producers can post their videos and set a price that viewers pay in bitcoin for permission to view. The price can be as low as 9 cents per view and can be split up among the collaborators who created the video. Payments are instantaneous and automatic and require no middle man and no bank. It’s an interesting idea and I’d be interested to hear from anyone who might have tried it out.

  2. Markus O'hilleus says:

    In case anyone hasn’t heard of OpenBazaar, it’s a p2p decentralized marketplace for goods and services. It’s still being tested, but should ready soon. http://openbazaar.org

    And I just read about another one called Rein, which is similar to openbazaar.org, but it’s only for services. http://reinproject.org

  3. der says:

    Very cool idea. I am definitely going to join on this website (Ripe Near Me) as our season warms up. So far, our only surplus is still in the freezer, jars and root cellar, but we have already determined that we have more than we will be needing when the greens start up in the garden, and have started passing things on to neighbours who are running low. A lot of people have not learned the art of eating local and seasonal, and are paying crazy prices for imported food at the stores.

    Here in the desert of BC we have an abundance of water and there are an amazing number of fruit trees in this tiny village that literally drop their treasures onto the ground every year–a rich oasis! Many people travelling through on the Old TransCanada Highway actually stop here to stock up on free food during that abundant season, and it would be great to see more, as this and other websites make it easier for people to access our bounty. We also have a farmer’s market from May to fall. Our specialties include: apricots, peaches, plums, squash, and especially garlic (which we grow to trade for things we don’t grow, like fish). Their are also roadside stands with lots to offer.

    So, anybody in the Lower Mainland (Vancouver, etc.) that wants to stock up, come to the BC Interior as spring comes on. No need to be buying California fruit and veggies at inflated prices! And consider eating only what your own area grows, including the wild things. I know, it’s hard to give up the tropicals, but you get used to it as you discover the delicious locals and the health they can provide for your body. See you on the web!

  4. tomas says:

    Fantastic idea this ripe near me site ! i will definitely contribute and see what i can find around here . This is the type of stuff we need more of , even offering trade with non-food stuff as an option would be ideal , say services or other goods , as some are gardeners while others are handy etc ..

    This really made my day browsing it . wow . excellent and thumbs up to whoever started and is contributing to it !

  5. Octium says:


    From their website FAQ

    “A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share.

    Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community; Little Libraries have been called mini-town squares.”

  6. MorePositive says:

    I’ve long wanted a local bulletin board (website) where not-for-profits can list their ‘needs’ and local businesses can list their ‘give-aways’. Does anyone know if this exists elsewhere?
    I am in Canada and to date when I have furniture or equipment being replaced in the office, I contact the local United Way office, who send out an email blast to their affiliated organizations.
    I’d like to see spread, a small way to add more positive to the world.

  7. cropduster says:

    James, you have been in Japan so long you have forgotten what February is like in Canada!! Remember that four letter word SNOW? I bet there will be more garden produce on RipeNearMe once it starts growing. Enjoyed the info.

  8. Corbett says:

    It should also be stressed that the big P2P “sharing economy” sites (AirBnB, Uber, etc.) are not the only ones out there, and the problems with sites like those ones won’t be solved by government regulation but competition from sites with better ways of dealing with these problems. That’s why I was glad to find this list:

    15 Niche Alternatives to Airbnb

  9. Lance says:

    This may be too capitalist for some folks but I try to use p2p investment vehicles as a way to side-step banks…




  10. sahid.miller says:

    Don’t remember where I got this from.


    Find fresh water near you!

    Also, any bookmarking site is an alternative to using a search engine.


    This is my favorite

  11. allan says:

    The meaning of ‘sharing economy’ as a concept is being forged at the moment.


    ‘Early sharing idealists hoped the sharing model would produce a Libertarian Socialism in which, by using technology, people would operate communally, sharing their homes, foods, clothes, etc. The injection of billions of dollars of venture capital to fund infrastructure and growth for these tech startups means that investors will demand a return in their investment, resulting in IPOs and a return to Wall Street economics. In reality, this is actually a form of tech-based capitalism, not the app-powered, hippie communes some perceived it would be.’

    from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeremiah-owyang/liberals-and-conservative_b_6750652.html

    The uk government published a report in 2014 on sharing economy, and review:



  12. Corbett says:

    For any Latvians (or Latvian speakers) in the crowd, the following comes from a listener via email:

    P2P exchange site: http://mainam.lv/

    P2P site for giving away / receiving used goods: https://www.atdot.lv/sludinajumi

  13. Corbett says:

    Submitted by a listener via email:

    “I use the site Eatwild.com Connect local farmers with people in the area. I have purchased sides of local grass feed beef from a farmer on the site.”


  14. Terraset says:


    Short version:
    It’s a social media site that shares 90% of its ad revenue with its users who post their own original content

    Shorter version: It’s like a Facebook that pays you to use it.

    I admit Tsu is not perfect but I believe it represents a decent stepping stone to something better. With a philosophy of making the people who use their service rich so they in turn get rich it’s at least not half bad. I highly recommend the Corbett Report get a page on there and start posting. Highly, highly recommend.


    Local Calgary, Alberta business to grow more fresh food. You can do stuff like loan out your lawn to them to be used to grow veggies of which you get a cut. Helps them cut down on fees for leasing/buying their own land.


    Wireless Mesh network initiative more or less attempting to rebuild the entire internet as a free and open system for all. Utilizes the CJDNS protocol among others. Set up your node today!


    Free digital painting tool attempting to be better than professional tools while also being free. With the philosophy that people can create amazing things with the right tools and thus those tools should be as accessible as possible.


    The D programming language, a project to replace the badly aged C and C++ systems with a more sensible, sane, modern one that works. Go build your own stuff people!

    Ok that’s all I’ve got for now.

    • Corbett says:

      Thanks for the links, Terraset. Nice to see a Calgarian offering as well…even if they seem to be uncritical of the IBM “smarter cities” technocracy nonsense.

      • Terraset says:

        With all the harping I’ve done on this site in the past about how people need to stop whining and get more involved there was no way I wasn’t going to contribute to something like this. Regardless of how negatively my opinions are often received. Fun fact, I was on the verge of unsubscribing from CorbettReport until I saw this. I was getting tired of constant negative news that we’ve all heard before and already know. And was getting frustrated that all this latent community energy was being wasted on open source investigations as opposed to open source solutions. However this pretty much redeemed the community for me. I hope it continues and I hope I can contribute more and better in the future. Beyond simply posting a few links that only exist because other people are actually doing real work for me to link to.

        You have to use what you have to build what you want. Even if Leaf Ninjas isn’t perfect and maybe isn’t aware of the problem of technocracy the simple fact is they can help get more people growing their own food on their own property. The same goes for any imperfect solution. Idealism and pride will get people nowhere. If we want to change the world we need to build something that works instead of just whining about things not being how we want them to be. It doesn’t matter what version 1.0 of that new system is made of because we can always make version 2.0

      • Terraset says:

        The Leaf Ninjas comment wasn’t really directed at you so much as what I like to call the “activist purists” who refuse to lift a finger unless somebody builds them a “perfect” free or non-governmental solution. Because they are lazy and want someone else to take responsibility for their life.

        I’ve run into quite a number and it gets very tiring. They’re worse than sheep. At least sheep aren’t claiming to be trying to change anything when they reject imperfect solutions.

  15. Terraset says:

    Few more links and a personal story:


    Creative community focusing around all things computer and hardware related. Also has a blog showcasing cool ideas at hackaday.com. Resources for local hacker/maker spaces and a plethora of projects to jump in on, startups to start, and ideas to tinker around with. There’s some cool garden automation hacks on there if anyone wants to make some extra bitcoin on ripenear.me or equivalent. Also some solar power and wind power hacks as well as general home automation. Also a great place to learn about how to protect yourself from security exploits you might not even know exist, especially in “internet of things” (IoT) devices that the blog is rather critical of.


    Haven’t really researched this one yet but with a name like “Community Supported Agriculture in Alberta” it seems pretty straightforward. From their front page “This website has been created to help you find a farm close to you where you can purchase locally grown seasonal food, while helping to ensure the longevity of the small family farm.” Seems like they may do some form of delivery as well, to your door even. Although that may be up to the individual growers discretion.


    Alternative Vehicle Technology is a company that takes your car and converts it into a fully EV car as per your needs. Also does exotic vehicle conversion like off-roaders and limos. No further research than that has been done by me. Have fun!

    Personal Story:

    A person I know in the Calgary area told me about a community that set up an interesting system for their groceries. Everyone puts together a list and then one person drives out to a local Hudderite colony and buys all the groceries for the community. They get vegetables and meats and whatnot in mason jars and get a discount if they bring the jars back. Apparently this started because the community looked at the pricing between the Hudderites and local grocery stores and realized the Hudderites were more competitive.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this. I believe it was in the town of Black Diamond that I saw a furniture store that is a cooperative with an Amish settlement. The Amish build the furniture and the store sells it. Naturally it’s pretty high quality for its price. I’ve even found sausage made and packaged by a local Hudderite colony in my local Co-op before, which is just a standard chain grocer contrary to what the name might suggest. I share that at least as an idea for people to play around with.

  16. daflammas says:

    In response to Terraset’s comment about csa Alberta I would like to let people who don’t know, this is actually an international idea. In the UK before we left 6 years ago there were quite a number in the southwest but now they’re all over the country http://www.communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk/find-csa/
    In the USA over 4000 csa’s listed on local harvest website http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
    If you’re unable to grow food yourself this is a great way to source local fresh food and also get to know the farmers near you. Some csa’s do meat as well. Even if they’re not really close to you they may have delivery options, either to your door or to a collection point.

  17. daniel.a says:

    http://www.earthineer.com – Sharing economy meets backyard farm and food. Barter with neighbors, add what you’re growing and producing this year. It’s also a social network with an active community and lots of great content. Check it out. (shameless plug, since it is my site…but seriously, give me a shout…I’d love to hear feedback).


    http://farmhack.org/tools – community of farmers that build and modify their own tools

    http://opensourceecology.org/ – open source industrial machines

  18. How wide of a net are you casting here, James?

    Two things that come to mind for me are open source software and P2P communications.




  19. Corbett says:

    An interesting article from Kevin Carson about how the real P2P ride-sharing solution is neither the taxicab medallion system nor Lyft/Uber corporate middleman ride-sharing:


  20. Neo says:


    an interesting plattform which tries to combine exchanging goods and services with the benefit of social interaction (implementation of chat/mail and matching program to simplify the exchange and find other interested, like minded members around you for that all data, I guess)
    It is absolutely free without any money based structure.
    Obviously THE alternative. BUT..

    Unfortunately it has only been tested virtually never in reality as I found out in a conversation with the developer.
    Testing the plattform means at least 100 people should register (rather more) to try out, increasing the probability of positive exchange matches and finally verify the functionality of the whole system in reality (bigger community, towns, big apples?).

    Dont vote with your eyes
    Take the time to understand their point of view and the system behind

  21. mik says:

    What does P2P actually mean?

    Power to the People

  22. WinstonSmythe says:


    Is this investigation still open?

    I ask because I think the foundation of future peer to peer will be with a network that is less / not dependent upon ISPs.

    i2p (https://geti2p.net/en/) and various mesh ideas would help with this.

    Also, I’ve put together a prototype of a cheap node (<£100 GBP) for networking over ham radio.

    I've written a draft paper on it – is any of this helpful?

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