The bike that earns cryptocurrency as you cycle

Picture the scene: you’re cycling along, racking up the miles when…bam, you’ve just bagged yourself £20 worth of cryptocurrency with the power of your legs.

50cycles, a UK-based bicycle manufacturer has developed the world’s first e-bike capable of earning cryptocurrency. While it does sound like an eerie concept pulled right out of Black Mirror, the idea itself is pretty innovative.

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The bike, called Toba, will be able to generate LoyalCoin at a rate of about £20 for every 1,000 miles travelled. Once you’ve earned enough Toba coins, you’ll be able to either trade them in for Bitcoin, Zen, Litecoin or Digibytes, or redeem them in any store which accepts cryptocurrency. Cyclists will be able to monitor the tokens generated with the use of a smartphone app.

Every turn of the Toba’s wheel will earn you tokens which can be used to buy products from 50cycles at a discounted rate. It’s essentially incentivised cycling.

“At the moment we are working with LoyalCoin to reward our customers, but eventually the Toba bikes will have their own digital coin which will become one of thousands of currencies of the future, and the Toba will allow riders to become an integral part of its growth,” 50cycles founder, Scott Snaith told Cycling Industry. “As the technology improves, we envisage that our customers will be as excited as we are when they start earning rewards simply for using the product they choose to own.”

There is one glaring issue, however. Like with anything, people are going to find ways to cheat the game. I can imagine someone taking apart the bike and wiring it to a car, for instance, or finding a way to have the wheels continuously revolve. Someone will inevitably find a way to exploit the system, so security measures will obviously need to be put in place.

The Toba bike will be released in the UK this September; it joins a number of other crypto-based schemes currently making waves around the world.

Back in November, the Bronx Freedom Fund launched Bail Block, an initiative that lets you mine cryptocurrency to help bail people, “innocent until proven guilty”, out of jail. Then there’s Mosaic, a tokenised system that rewards researchers for contributing to a database of quality research. In an already booming year of cryptocurrency, reward-based crypto schemes are only going to get bigger.

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