oBike to launch own cryptocurrency that users can earn while riding
Bike-sharing firm to launch cryptocurrency with Chinese blockchain platform
Earn as you ride - that's what home-grown bike-sharing operator oBike is promising its userswith the launch of its own cryptocurrency.
The oCoin is set to be launched in partnership with Chinese blockchain platform Tron in the first quarter of next year.
oBike announced this yesterday, saying its users will be able to pay for rides and top up their oBike wallets using oCoins.
It added that "users will soon be able to ride and earn, thanks to the new partnership..."
The currency can also be used to buy online content or on any application on Tron's platform, including live-streaming app Uplive and content community Peiwo.
Uplive is a video streaming platform that features channels from thousands of hosts worldwide, and allows users to give these hosts money to support them.
Peiwo is a social content community similar to Snapchat that connects users via voice samples and shared interests, allowing them to chat, play games, and live stream.
Replying to The New Paper's queries, oBike Singapore general manager Tim Phang said that oBike "fits" into a partnership with Tron.
"The intrinsic value of Tron is based on entertainment and content, and oBike fits into that whole ecosystem. Cycling is going to bridge that gap between offline and online activities," he said.
As a blockchain platform, Tron operates as a digital ledger that structures its transactions in a decentralised and secure way.
Instead of being managed by one central authority, it records transactional data into "blocks" that are securely encrypted and bound together into a "chain".
This ledger is distributed across all parties within Tron, where they have to come to a consensus to authenticate the transactions.
Tron also owns the Tronix cryptocurrency, which is ranked 18th worldwide with a market capacity of US$2.6 billion (S$3.5 billion) and is trading at US$0.04.
Mr Phang told TNP that as of now, oCoins will be an alternative payment mode to the conventional oBike wallet, but the company is looking for it to be a "medium of exchange across all our partners".
He added that the partnership with Tron is its latest effort to engage customers.
oBike has over 10 million users in more than 20 countries including Malaysia, Australia and Switzerland.
"As a tech company, we are dedicated to bringing better value and benefits to our users through constant innovation and mutually beneficial partnerships," Mr Phang said.
"In addition, this allows oBike users to now be rewarded with cryptocurrency, which has the potential to grow in value, unlike other rewards systems in the market."
It is not surprising that oBike is pedalling towards cryptocurrency, said Mr Anson Zeall, the chairman of the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups.
"The concept of cryptocurrency is allowing different companies to have the freedom to do more things," said Mr Zeall, referring to the partnership between oBike and Tron.
"It's not just a form of payment any more. The different blockchains from different cryptocurrencies give people and companies the freedom to do what they want."