Invariably, blockchain and crypto proponents say that their innovative technologies are still in their infancy, meaning that a lot can still be done. We couldn’t agree more. The reason is simple: the latest use case of cryptocurrency is a bicycle. Yes, a bicycle! Strange as it may seem, it’s very true. You know what, German cryptocurrency enthusiast Matthias Steinig is one of those who firmly believes that the world is yet to see what virtual currency and its ilk have in store for it. Consequently, he went ahead to design and build an electric bicycle that “runs” on Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin (BTC).
The Working Principle behind the Crypto-powered Bicycle
The working principle of the crypto-powered bicycle is as simple as ABC. It goes thus: the user needs to scan the QR code from the bicycle. To do this, the user will need to have its app. Also, to turn on the bike and its motor, the user needs to send a payment, which he does with the compatible cryptocurrency. To explain that a little further, the user needs to pick from 3 options which are readily available on the screen of the bicycle. When the user has done that, then the bike automatically generates a QR code with the price based on the chosen option.
There’s a Stumbling Block
Surprisingly enough, the bike works on a consensus mechanism. Yes, it works on the proof of concept. Guess what, this is not a prototype as the bike is fully functional and the payment system already put in place. While the idea sounds super cool, Steinig and his team may have a hurdle standing in their way. The challenge is that the “INSTALL description is still missing,” that’s according to Steinig’s Twitter message. Secondly, by design, cryptocurrency doesn’t allow the merchants to charge the rider for returning the bicycle late or refusing to return it all.
Looking at the fee-related challenge, there could be a way out in form of an advance payment. If it is to charge an extra $25 USD equivalent of cryptocurrency in a hold. The implication now is that the rider gets a refund upon returning the bike as expected. However, failure to return the bike will lead to automatic forfeiture of the money.
Without a doubt, it is interesting to see cryptocurrency have extraordinary use cases. Nonetheless, this is not the first time cryptocurrency has been used in such creative scenarios. There has been a recent launch of a soda machine prototype that accepts cryptocurrency. In a similar vein, an app called Bitplaza has launched. It allows users to pay for physical goods with Bitcoin. You have to admit, projects like these make cryptocurrency enthusiasts stay bullish on the prospects of the sector.
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