50cycles, the UK’s longest-running ebike retailer, has come up with an innovative way for cyclists to turn miles pedalled into digital cash
The two-wheeled ‘TOBA’ rewards tech-savvy riders for hitting the road by generating unique tokens for every 1,000 miles they pedal.
However founder and CEO of 50cycles Scott Snaith is aware not everyone is completely clued-up about the confusing world of cryptocurrency.
He and his team have vowed to give current customers, and everyone who buys a TOBA bike, the knowhow they need to make it in the world of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.
“The classes are aimed at customers that want to learn a little bit more about the crypto space and also any owner of our new brand TOBA electric bike,” he said.
“It is likely many of them will not be familiar with digital assets before they jump on board and start earning their own.
“As well as getting to grips with the TOBA electric bike, we hope these classes with give our customers an insight in to what will be the future economy — a digital age that is just around the corner.”
The lessons will be available free of charge to anyone who pre-orders a TOBA bike, and will cover the basics of safely buying, selling and storing digital currency.
Once customers get riding, coins can be redeemed across a number of brands and stores, or traded for popular digital tokens such as Litecoin, Bitcoin, XEM and Digibytes.
Snaith says the ebike essentially acts as a mobile ‘crypto miner’ – mining being the process used to release digital currency.
Instead of being dished-out automatically, Bitcoin and other similar cryptos have to be unlocked by completing complex mathematical equations. Here each turn of the TOBA bike’s wheel will unlock new tokens.
The TOBA, which costs £2,595 to buy, is also an electrically-powered bike – featuring an electric motor used to add a boost to human pedal power, making it much easier to cover big distances.
Snaith explained: “This is not only the first electric bike of its kind, but it will be the first product ever to be tokenised and which will issue rewards for use.
“As soon as they start pedalling, riders will be on the way to producing cryptocurrency — and every 1,000 miles should be enough to unlock a set amount to the equivalent of around £20, giving each of our customers an incentive to get on their bikes.
“It is a way of rewarding our customers and riders who are fully committed to green transportation.”
Keen cyclists in the UK regularly cover around 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year, through a mix of commuting and leisure rides.
“We have always been a company that moves ahead of the times by embracing the latest technology,” adds Snaith.
“Just like we saw the potential in electric bikes in Tokyo 15 years ago, we now see the promise and future in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and product tokenisation.”
Snaith’s 50cycles is one of an increasing number of businesses to spot the potential in cryptocurrency and FinTech – joining many of the world’s biggest firms, like Starbucks, Microsoft, Subway and Amazon. Meanwhile ebikes are experiencing a popularity surge in the UK.
According to the latest stats from HMRC, released last month, imports of ebikes have jumped from 50,000 to 62,500 in the last year alone.
Ebikes accounted for just 5 per cent of the UK bike market in 2015, but that accelerated to 12 per cent in 2016.