Arcade City relies on blockchain to overthrow Uber
While the platforms Uber and Heetch are in the crosshairs of the French justice, a new actor should soon land in France. Under the leadership of Cristopher David, the application Arcade City landed in the United States in February. A former Uber driver in Portsmouth across the Atlantic, he decided to launch a decentralized carpooling service.
The idea sprouted last September when the city of Portsmouth declared war on urban carpooling platforms. To do this, the Municipality of the City of New Hampshire imposed on them several untenable conditions (verification of the criminal record of each driver, proof that he has the appropriate insurance, etc.), making the activity of the drivers illegal.
Faced with this tense climate, Christopher David launched the Free Uber movement. This aims to lift the city’s restrictions on the VTC platform. He even decides to take his idea further by creating Arcade City, a blockchain-based platform, in order to directly connect drivers and passengers.
Peer-to-peer or “gamification” payment
Unlike Uber which operates a centralized price fixing, the concept of Arcade City is very radically different from the American giant. Indeed, it is the drivers, and not the company, who set their own rates in peer-to-peer mode. In this case, passengers can browse the profiles of the drivers before choosing the one they prefer, much like Tinder.
However, this is not the only possible option. Drivers also have the opportunity to choose the “fun” mode, which requires payment via the app. This then allows drivers to win bonuses and prizes to improve their profile. In other words, this system follows the principle of “gamification”. The more the driver passes levels, the more he unlocks new options, like a video game, which is reminiscent of the application’s term “Arcade”.
The success was not long in coming for Arcade City. One month after its launch in mid-February, the application claimed already more than 1000 trips made in a hundred cities across 27 American states and Australia. To compete with Uber and its more than 400 cities around the world in which the Silicon Valley start-up service is available, Arcade City is already planning to launch its application in Canada, Mexico and Sweden before this. summer.
“The idea is good but I have reservations about the fact that the drivers are separated from the whole. The problem is going to be on the customer side. Today, when you take Lyft or Chauffeur-Privé, there is a minimum of standardization of the service. The customer is looking for service at an affordable price.
That the drivers set their price, I find it healthy. However, even though he is a professional, we have become accustomed to a certain quality of service in recent years. It’s like I’m going to McDonald’s or Hippopotamus. In each of the two restaurants, there is a quality of service that is recognizable. With Arcade City, I take the risk of ordering a Hippopotamus only to end up with a McDonald’s. From the customer’s point of view, it is dangerous. One day he will find a 10 euro race but maybe he will only find 40 euro races the following times.
The theory is good and sound, but I have some doubts about the practice. Decentralization can potentially, and I stress potentially, be Uber’s competing method on a global scale. If it works, it’s mud. However, Arcade City is more of a danger for Lyft and Heetch than Uber because it is “underground” transport. ”
Also read: URSSAF attacks Uber for hidden work and wants to reclassify VTC drivers as employees