Peer Power

Peer power is on the rise as trust in authority decreases and traditional support sources fall short. Consumers are turning to each other for help through services like Airbnb, GoFundMe, and peer-to-peer money-lending and goods-lending websites. The growth of peer-to-peer services and the rise of DAOs and Web3 technology suggest a future where crowd-powered entities play a more significant role in society.

This trend originates from the report:


Connected communities harness the energy of the crowd. Decentralized collaboration supplants top-down support. In a context where trust in authority is depleted, and where traditional sources of support such as the state are unable to offer sufficient help, consumers are turning to one another.

We saw this in reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where consumers used Airbnb to book stays with Ukrainian hosts with no intention of actually visiting, to give money directly and speedily to those who needed it. In reaction to the cost-of-living crisis, consumers are setting up GoFundMe donation pages to crowdsource contributions for staples like baby formula and groceries. More broadly, we see growing adoption of peer-to-peer services.

These include money-lending websites (from 12% in 2017 to 17% in 2022 globally), and lending services for household goods (from 12% in 2017 to 17% in 2022 globally) (source: Foresight Factory). Looking further out, the rise of distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs) and the development of Web3 suggests the potential for crowd-powered entities to play a more fundamental role in societies..