A new ride sharing service called Arcade City allows ride-seekers to connect directly with drivers through publicly available software, Ethereum and Blockchain. The smart phone application, set to launch in February 2016, asks riders to pay drivers what they believe is fair. Drivers keep 100% of the fare when paid on a peer-to peer-basis and pay a 10% fee if remunerated through the gamified Arcade City app, which offers attractive perks.
Arcade City founder Christopher David previously worked as an Uber driver In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where ride-sharing companies were banned in September 2015. David designed this business model in response. In the early hours of New Year’s Day, Arcade City drivers promoted their service in Portsmouth by offering 100 rides on a pay-as-you-please basis. Uber in contrast designs how prices are set, takes a 20% to 25% cut of profits, and are answerable to investors seeking to maximise profits. David told Coin Telegraph that the feedback so far from “drivers, riders, developers, potential regional leaders, and strategic partners has been overwhelming”.
This decentralised, peer-to-peer, independent service design could revolutionise online car sharing services, which have surged in recent years. The Arcade City model has the potential to protect service providers from exploitation or job insecurity by removing the middle man, without compromising convenient and cost-attractive services for users. If Arcade City proves successful, will the same model inspire other industries?
More Blockchain-based businesses are cropping up as it offers a highly transparent, efficient and safe means of recording data, such as agreements, transactions or contracts. A handful of farmers in the United States and Australia, for instance, are promoting Bitcoin use. They argue ‘Blockchaining’ farms could foster more closed-loop economies, and reduce bureaucratic processes, as well as barriers to market entry.
The greatest opportunities may be in less economically developed countries where the technology is already used for remittances. Agricultural practices, especially in rural areas, have already been transformed by mobile banking technology in recent years. It has been argued that Bitcoin adoption could build on these gains and could further catalyse economic growth where financial infrastructure remains highly limited.
CoinTelegraph (20th January, 2016) “Arcade City: Decentralized, Blockchain-Based Answer to Uber”
BBC (6th November, 2015) “Uber drivers consider legal action”
Digital Currency Council (13th February, 2015) “The Blockchain and Mobile Money for Agriculture in Developing Countries?”