Airbnb is often hailed as one of the leading platforms in the thriving sharing economy, but there is still money changing hands and profits being made. Now, a new home swapping site called Nightswapping takes money out of the equation — it helps users stay in other members’ homes for free, in exchange for opening up their own house to guests.
Nightswapping already has over 100,000 members in 160 countries. Each nightswapper has listed their home or guest room on the site, inviting users to stay there in exchange for ‘Nights’ that they can spend somewhere else. Users begin by creating a profile with information about themselves and their place, as well as photographs and a calendar. Then, other community members can book to stay there. Members can organize straight house swaps or collect ‘Nights’, which buys them free equivalent accommodation at another members’ home. Properties are grouped by the standard of accommodation, with the more extravagant and popular houses being worth more credits. Those who are unable to host or have just joined the community, can buy ‘Nights’ for as little as EUR 7 from the website — their host will be paid in ‘Nights’, not cash.
Nightswapping charges users approximately EUR 10 for each exchange — which takes the form of a deposit — but aside from that the site is truly about sharing and social experiences. Are there other supposed ‘sharing’ platforms, which could be adapted into predominantly cashless systems?