The ability to match demand and supply (allowing for mutual
discoverability) thanks to their ownership of demand is only one of the
two advantages of aggregators, the other being the ability to allow
counterparts who do not know each other to transact with each other.
In the markets where the supply of aggregators operate,
centralization was caused by the demand using popularity of suppliers as
a proxy for their trustworthiness.
As a consequence of the fact that aggregators can provide
the otherwise missing trust element between a customer and a product or
service provider who do not know each other, and thus popularity becomes a negligible factor in the users’ choice of a provider, the
distribution of profits in markets in which the supply of aggregators
operate flattens over time, whereas the market at the above layer (the
The importance of the trust element opens up the possibility of a new threat to aggregators:
whereas their self-reinforcing dominant position on the match-making
side is hard to be disrupted, this isn’t true for their position on the
trust-enablers one. In particular, the share of their profits
that come from replacing costs to act in trust-less environments is open
for disruption from any new entrant with an innovative
trust-minimization technology, such as dry technologies.