The end of 2017 saw a sharp rise of interest in blockchain technology. The Long Island Tea Company, a company that, before shifting to cryptocurrency mining, primarily dealt in cocktails, saw its shares jump 432% when it changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp, a move similar to Online plc’s shares going up 394% after adding “Blockchain” to its name. Bitcoin soared beyond $10,000 a coin in November, while Ethereum exceeded $1,000 in early January.
As mentioned earlier, Blockchain technology extends beyond cryptocurrencies, and the possibilities for the technology are plentiful. One possibility has manifested in the Los Angeles-based ridesharing platform SnagRide.
And I Would Ride 500 Miles…: The MILE token
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, SnagRide, in its beta stage, has recently announced a pre-sale of its own cryptocurrency token, the MILE token, beginning January 10th and set to last for four weeks, followed by an official crowdsale campaign. Each MILE will be issued at $0.25 a token. What makes SnagRide unique is that it is the first long-distance ride-sharing community that combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) with blockchain technology through smart contracts.
Participants can purchase MILE tokens with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin payments. The platform also offers a bonus of up to 40% for early investors in the first week, decreasing 10% every week afterwards. SnagRide has set a maximum cap of 100 million MILE tokens, 84% of which will be distributed to the public, 15% retained by the team, and 1% for bounties. The remaining tokens after the sale will be burned.
Terry Chan, Founder and CEO of Snagride, says that Snagride is unique in that it is “equipped with a level of encryption, protection, and efficiency unavailable in any other type of ridesharing application within the US right now.” Through smart contract technology, Snagride’s AI bot, aptly named “Miles,” uses data analytics from Ethereum smart contracts to match drivers and passengers who are willing to travel together based on data analysis on both parties. Said data will be on the Ethereum blockchain and encrypted for security.
The encrypted information is only available to the driver offering a ride. Once the driver confirms, a new transaction is initiated that will broadcast the confirmation and driver information to the Ethereum blockchain. While passengers can pay user fiat money, MILE tokens are preferred since a token-driven ecosystem would avoid authorization and transaction fees.
And I Would Ride 500 More…: What Gaps are SnagRide filling?
Snagride is attempting to a fill a gap that Uber and Lyft have left in the form of middle or long-distance ride sharing. While Uber and Lyft have completely changed the way people get around the city, the service is not as suitable for long-distance travel between cities.
Acknowledging that climate change is no longer in the realm of the theoretical, Snagride aims to provide a more convenient and comfortable traveling experience that is affordable, eco-friendly, and reliable. Snagride hopes to use technology to reduce the cost and increase availability of rideshare options for city-to-city road trips, which will encourage people to share a ride as opposed to driving solo, which is not only a costly undertaking, but also contribute to carbon emissions.
By empowering all travelers to carpool as often as possible, Snagride hopes to significantly reduce overall vehicle carbon emissions in the US. According to their white paper, a report determined that people prefer driving six hours instead of flying. Moreover, their decision to base MILE tokens off the Ethereum blockchain was partly influenced by the fact that mining cryptocurrencies involve enormous energy consumption.
While Uber and Lyft have caused significant disruption in the world of transportation, Snagride hopes to provide a service that not only transports people across longer distances between cities, but provide one that is secure, intelligent, and eco-friendly.
The introduction of the MILE token, along with the AI bot “Miles” to analyze driver and passenger data, and the usage of the Ethereum blockchain to keep that data encrypted and only available to the parties of the transaction are features not yet seen in rideshare applications on a massive scale. Their commitment to reducing carbon emissions by encouraging carpooling over solo driving, and building the MILE token on Ethereum as opposed to creating an entirely new blockchain are also part of what makes the service unique.