On the surface, a hashtag serves as an individual market within the Swarm City Boardwalk marketplace. It gives context to each transaction.

On a technical level a hashtag is a MiniMe enabled contract, minting non transferrable reputation tokens. The contract’s address is also registered on our ‘hashtags’ contract, which basically is just an address string mapping, that we can index, read and even localize in the front end. To start with we will pre-populate the hashtags with existing services.

The smart contract specifies the context by which users transact on the blockchain. Each hashtag automatically performs commerce functions under certain conditions; for example holding funds, paying out funds, and creating reputation tokens. When paired with a blockchain, smart contracts allow for completely decentralized commerce.

How this works:

When a user posts a request, the hashtag automatically pulls the payout amount selected and the hastag maintenance fee from the requester’s wallet, and puts it into the smart contract.

A service provider can bid on any offer by commenting. When commenting the hashtag automatically pulls the offer amount and the hashtag maintenance fee from the responders wallet and puts it into the smart contract. Therefore, both parties deposit an equal amount into an agreed upon smart contract until the transaction is complete.

When the requester acknowledges in the app that the deal was completed as expected, the hashtag automatically sends those same funds minus the hashtag maintenance fees 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 June 15, 2017 release of Boardwalk version 1.0 introduced the very first Swarm City hashtag, called #pioneer.

Read "Hashtags Revisited" for a more in depth explanation.