Two weeks ago, on March 26, Grab confirmed the rumors of its acquisition of Uber’s business in South-East Asia and since then it’s been the talk of the town. But, what Grab thought it will be a smooth ride towards the monopolization of the market in this region turned out to be quite the bumpy one.
Namely, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) is running an investigation into the merger for possible infringement of competition laws and it seems they are not the only one, other countries are following suit and looking into the matter.
This was reason enough for Grab to extend the life of the Uber app till April 15. Originally the app was supposed to close by April 8. And while Grab and Uber have their hands full with authorities in the region someone else is having a bit of a tough time too.
You might have already been asking yourself, what about all the Uber drivers? Well, Grab intends to honor contracts that Uber’s drivers have with Lion City Rentals (LCR), a car lease subsidiary 100% owned by Uber in Singapore and can opt to rent a car from GrabRentals once their contracts expire.
This has roused a heated discussion between private-hire car drivers. Incidentally, this means that rather than having the choice to end their contracts with LCR without penalty, due to early termination fees, the drivers are being “forced” to work with Grab.
So much for the free world, right? Not exactly. Cryptocurrency has been creating decentralized marketplaces all over the world and it seems it has found its way into the ride-hailing market of Singapore too, music to the ears for drivers and riders as well.
DS Media Concepts Pte Ltd is planning for an ICO in Singapore to raise funds for the development of Crypto Ride Sharing Decentralized Apps an app that will hinder the monopolizing efforts of Grab in the region.
What does this mean? It means drivers will earn more than competitors and passengers can pay less than for competitors. The only thing they will have to do is buy CryptoRideCoins (CRC), the tokens issued by DS Media Concepts Pte Ltd that will be used for all transactions when using Crypto Ride Sharing Decentralized Apps.
It’s very simple. All tokens paid by the passengers will be transferred directly to the driver and very small transaction fees, less than $0.50, will be paid using Ethereum. The tokens will be available and can be bought on exchanges or using the Crypto Ride Sharing Decentralized Apps and the drivers will be able to exchange the tokens to Fiat currency on a weekly basis.
CryptoRideCoin will allow drivers, passengers and other investors to buy the tokens making the ride-hailing business to gradually roll into the crypto market. Taking a second look at the situation it seems CRC will not only hinder the merger of Grab and Uber but grow into a fierce competitor itself too.