This is the second installment in a blog series examining exchange markets and how they are a good use case for using a graph database.
Civilization has designed exchange markets since the first early humans made stone tools and others recognized their value. In fact, non-monetary exchange markets predate all other markets by such a great deal of time that you might say that we are inherently predisposed towards them. Of course, transacting in exchange markets can be extremely difficult, because value is subjective, and we have a tendency to overvalue what we have. Successfully making a trade often involves tedious work to first find potential participants and then convince them to close the deal.
This challenge is well illustrated in an episode of the animated show, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic™,” titled “Trade Ya!” where one of the ponies named Rainbow Dash wants to trade for a rare book held by a book seller. In the Rainbow Falls Traders Exchange, no money is used. Instead, the ponies must trade only for goods or services. Rainbow Dash brings her most valuable possession, her lucky horseshoe, to trade for a first edition copy of the Daring Do book. Unfortunately, the book seller does not find her horseshoe valuable, so the rest of the episode involves Rainbow Dash going from vendor to vendor to enact a series of trades starting with her “valuable” horseshoe and ending with the rare book.