Crypto bike-sharing service Airbie has been rolled out on November 14 becoming the most recent innovation spawned from the Zug, Switzerland. The service has been coupled with uPort’s eID program, a system which enables residents of the so-called Crypto Valley to register their identities in the form of EDCCs, otherwise known as smart contracts, to the Ethereum Blockchain. The eIDs also work as wallets, which allow them to approve Ethereum transactions.
AirBie is comparable to Lime’s bike and scooter-sharing service, where a person locates a bike, unlocks it using the AirBie app, and then simply parks it after riding. However, they are also different in several ways such as the AirBie app is linked to uPort, which means that users need valid eIDs to be able to ride, and instead of credit cards, users pay in cryptocurrency. This goes to show that this novel use case puts together two Blockchain tech applications: identity verification and payments.
The team behind AirBie wants to pave the way for the internet of things (IoT) by means of Blockchain tech. The team is convinced that in order to obtain this objective, building real-life Blockchain applications that reach numerous users is rather important. AirBie’s bike-sharing service is only the first of the company’s many future Blockchain and IoT initiatives.
In line with this, the crew plans to allow bike owners to utilize AirBie smart locks, the core of the service, providing people with an opportunity to have their bikes rented to other riders. Bike owners can also present credentials to find out who may and may not rent their bikes. While the bike-sharing service is a very particular use case, the “renting model” AirBie is aiming for may also be used on apartments and hotels.
The uPort eID program has already been used by Zug residents in accessing various government services like the recent voting pilot. However, the system’s inclusion in the AirBie service paves the way for Blockchain’s role in addressing people’s everyday needs like transportation. The team behind uPort asserts that AirBie’s launch “is a big milestone for the future of urban mobility and smart cities built around citizens’ rights to privacy and control of their identities.”