oBike in Singapore to launch cryptocurrency with blockchain platform Tron

oBike seeks to attract more customers with 'oCoins'

Ramy Caspi
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Singaporean bikesharing companyoBike has just announced that it is set to launch its own cryptocurrency, oCoins, in the first quarter of 2018, which will allow users to earn while riding their bikes.

oBike is Singapore’s first homegrown, stationless bicycle-sharing system with operations in several countries. The bikes have a built-in bluetooth lock and can therefore be left anywhere at the end of a journey, not just at a docking station. Users use a smartphone app to locate and hire bikes.

oBike launched in Singapore in February of 2017 and has 10 million users and expanded to 12 other countries, including Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Sweden.

In what oBikes touts as a world’s first, the move will allow users to pay for their rides with oCoins and top up their oBike wallets. Users will generate oCoins whenever they ride on oBike, and earn more the longer they ride.

The oCoin is set to be launched in partnership with Chinese blockchain platform Tron in the first quarter of next year.

Tron is a blockchain-based decentralized protocol that aims to construct a worldwide free content entertainment system with the blockchain and distributed storage technology. The protocol allows each user to freely publish, store and own data, and, in the decentralized autonomous form, decides the distribution, subscription and push of contents. It enables content creators by releasing, circulating, and dealing with digital assets, thus forming a decentralized content entertainment ecosystem. The group behind Tron, the Singapore-based Tron Foundation, founded by a group of young Chinese tech entrepreneurs, says it aims to create a platform where entertainment artists get paid directly by consumers using its cryptocurrency.

The oCoin 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.

oBike co-founder and chief marketing officer Edward Chen said that he is confident the introduction of oCoins “will be an attractive proposition for users to continue riding oBike in more ways than one. As a tech company, we are dedicated to bringing better value and benefits to our users through constant innovation and mutually beneficial partnerships.”

Cryptocurrency is a buzzword that’s been going around tech services lately. Likely fueled by the massive value placed on Bitcoin in this day and age. However, it’s difficult to call these things true cryptocurrency. Largely because there is no cryptography involved in earning the currency; but also because they don’t adhere to the decentralised goal of using an alternative virtual currency.