oBike rides the cryptocurrency bandwagon, unveils oCoins


Riders using Singapore's homegrown bike-sharing application oBike will soon be able to earn digital money whenever they step on the pedal. Start-up oBike partnered with blockchain-based decentralized protocol TRON to launch oCoins, the bike-sharing operator's very own cryptocurrency.

Slated to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2018, this digital currency will be based on the TRON's protocol and will enable oBike users to pay for their rides and top up their digital wallets using oCoins. Users will be able to generate oCoins whenever they ride on an oBike and the longer they ride, the more oCoins will be created.

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Aside from paying for their bike rides, users can use this virtual currency to purchase on any applications that are on TRON's platform. For instance, oBike riders can unlock paid features in Peiwo, an audio content community, and Uplive, a popular live streaming app.

oBike co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Edward Chen said in a statement that the collaboration with TRON allows the bike-sharing operator to explore digital opportunities to enhance user experience.

"As a tech company, we are dedicated to bringing better value and benefits to our users through constant innovation and mutually beneficial partnerships. We are confident that the introduction of oCoins, will be an attractive proposition for users to continue riding oBike in more ways than one," Chen noted.

oCoins will be running in a protocol being used by TRON's cryptocurrency, TRONIX or TRX. TRON founder Justin Sun said TRX's market capacity has already reached US$2.6 billion.

"We are excited to announce our partnership with oBike. oBike is one of the largest bike-sharing economy companies active in 20 countries across Europe, Asia and Australia with 10 million users. We are certain that the TRON ecosystem will appeal to oBike users with its widespread popularity. We look forward to a fruitful partnership," Sun noted.

In the second half of 2017, oBike raised US$45 million in its Series B round of funding as part of its go-global strategy. The firm will be part of the growing sharing economy, which is forecasted by the PwC to grow from US$15 billion to US$335 billion by 2025.

This article was first published on January 3, 2018