Although the sharing economy was expected to bring sustainable transformations towards social welfare, economic growth and environmental preservation, it has not always lived up to the expectations. After the COVID-19 pandemic, benefits may become more elusive, considering the disruption that the pandemic has caused. This paper provides insight into the social, economic, environmental and regulatory paradoxes of the sharing economy before the pandemic. It also explores the roots of contradictory insights by analysing the role of normative, economic and digital regulatory mechanisms governing relations within platforms. The paper also discusses the effect of COVID-19 on platform regulatory mechanisms and their potential impact on the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability.