WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM | Why your assets are safer in a sharing economy

In 2010, while the world was feeling aftershocks from the 2008 financial crisis, an interesting milestone took place: for the first time in history, global household wealth was equally divided between financial assets and tangible assets. Tangible assets — homes, cars, appliances and so forth — now make up a larger percentage of our net worth than ever before.

At the same time, the phrase “access over ownership” can be heard in many places, from corporate boardrooms to community centres. This includes sharing-economy platforms that allow you to access almost anything, from a bicycle to a pet, when you’d like it, rather than owning it outright.

Tangible assets play a key role in this “access economy”. And yet there remains no platform for personal management of these things: no easy way for individuals to organize, value and protect what they own (and may wish to share) over time.