Cryptocurrency, still in its infancy, is starting to bleed into various industries and become a new player in the world of finance. Entities like Bitcoin have come on to the money market scene and are changing the way consumers and companies do business. This includes the transportation sector, which itself has seen a complete upheaval in recent years with ride-sharing and the technology around it, spearheaded by companies like Uber and Lyft.
Cryptocurrency is part of a blockchain, or a series of transactions in a system that handles digital currency, like Bitcoin. Blockchain, once an electric tech dream, is now very real and becoming commonplace, and finding its way into multiple industries, including transportation.
Everyone from car buyers to auto insurance agents to manufacturers are seeing the shift in auto-relate commerce happen right before their eyes, so it’s important to understand just how this technology could continue to change the transportation industry.
Blockchain and Ride-Sharing
Just a few years ago, only a select number of people clicked on their phones and hailed a car driven by a stranger with a pink mustache on the front or a circular sticker on the windshield. Now, companies like Uber and Lyft, who have inspired other ride-hailing companies, are not only common, but here to stay and growing.
But the ride-sharing economy, arguably still getting its legs underneath it, are vulnerable to the reach of blockchain-based startups. The thing that Uber and Lyft did that was so unique was declare its employees as independent contractors, but in reality they really are employees.
Blockchain-based companies are now pointing to the technology as a powerful enough tool to take market share away from ride-sharing companies. By taking cryptocurrency payments and decentralizing the marketplace, new apps have appeal for drivers and for cyrpto miners.
While cyrpto startups are still very new and still have a long way to go, the threat they pose to this industry is undeniable in the long run.
Planes, Trains, Public Transportation
Car rental companies took a hit when Uber and Lyft came onto the scene, seeing their regular passengers opt for the cool tech-centered, no-hassle option instead of the expensive rental option. Plus, you don’t have to wait that long for a ride and if an accident happens, it’s not your fault. Now, car rental companies are having to adjust to a new challenger in blockchain.
There are car rental startups that now offer token pay, such as Bitcoin, to take care of transactions. Turo, the most notable company, has seen a massive surge in participation with its forward-thinking approach to payments. What’s more, the company’s big get is that it lets drivers offer their car for peer-to-peer rental; someone can put their own car out for rental and make some money while they’re at work and someone else drives their car.
Local transportation, such as light rail and buses, are also primed for a crypto takeover. Studies and polls have shown that the public transportation industry will in time accept digital payment instead of coins or cards. For instance, an electric bus company in China just landed a $24 billion three-year deal to change its financial services to blockchain technology.
Finally, airline companies are also prepping for blockchain development in the coming years. Cyrpto makes sense when it comes to loyalty programs and companies like Lufthansa are starting to take notice. While this is all still just in the idea phase, it’s really only a matter of time when it becomes a reality.
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