Written by kingflurkel and Matthew Carano
The June 15, 2017 release of Boardwalk introduced the very first Swarm City hashtag, called #pioneer. A hashtag is several things. First of all, a hashtag is the context by which users are transacting. This example has been used many times, but #needaride could be a ridesharing context, and riders and drivers would find each other there to communicate and transact. On a deeper level though, hashtags are smart contracts. When paired with a blockchain, smart contracts allow for completely decentralized commerce.Hashtags are smart contracts
Each hashtag automatically performs commerce functions under certain conditions; for example holding funds, paying out funds, and creating reputation tokens. So when a user posts a request, the hashtag automatically pulls the payout amount selected from the requester’s wallet, and puts it into the smart contract. And when the requester acknowledges in the app that the deal was completed as expected, the hashtag automatically sends those same funds to the service provider and mints reputation tokens for each party.
These automatic functions take the place of escrow agents and payment processors, and make transacting in Swarm City trustless and decentralized. The reason why it’s trustless is because in Swarm City, each party can verify that the technology will not permit fraudulent behavior, so they don’t have to trust each other. This allows people who don’t know each other to feel secure transacting together without a middle party participating.
So far only #pioneer is available for commerce, and users have been transacting solely on it. The reason why the first Swarm City transactions are limited to one hashtag is to get everyone used to navigating the interface. It also gives the Dev Team the opportunity to gather user feedback, and apply it to improve user experience. Early adopters will forever hold reputation in #pioneer,...