Ryde allows customers to pay for rides using Bitcoin

Ryde allows customers to pay for rides using Bitcoin

By Benson Toti - min read

Ryders based in Singapore can now convert their hard-earned Bitcoin into RydeCoins for their trips

Ryde, a popular ride-sharing service provider that has been operating in multiple large cities across the globe, has announced that customers based in Singapore can now pay for their rides in Bitcoin.

Users of the Ryde app will be able to convert bitcoins into RydeCoin with zero transaction costs. In just one payment, customers can also top up their digital wallet — called the RydePay — which can store up to 999 SGD ($726.46 USD) in bitcoin for transactions.

In 2018, Uber partnered with Fold to allow its users to pay for rides with bitcoins. However, Ryde is the first ride-sharing service provider to actually integrate cryptocurrency into its own app by allowing the storage and use of bitcoins through an in-house digital wallet.

The founder and chief executive officer of Ryde Technologies, Terence Zou, said that cryptocurrency has always been a part of the company’s next step forward.

“The addition of cryptocurrency as a payment method was always going to be the natural next step as its transaction volume increased,” Zou said.

Zou revealed that the company began work on integrating the Bitcoin with their app last year. However, when the pandemic started, customers consequently started to prioritise cashless transactions due to concerns surrounding contagion. In response, the company sped up the development process to capitalise on the rise in demand.

“Singapore generally has a relatively tech-savvy population, and many Singaporeans have bitcoin. However, the use of bitcoin in Singapore is limited. We can purchase bitcoin at some ATMs and through crypto exchanges but not many merchants accept it.” Zhou explained.

In the long term, Ryde has expressed plans to turn the RydePay digital wallet into a decentralised electronic ledger. This opens up the wallet to more cryptocurrencies and is a step forward in facilitating the mass adoption of cryptocurrency in Singapore. Their plans are in line with the steady rise in demand for ride-sharing services in cities.

Ryde was first established in Singapore in 2015 and the app swiftly expanded to Hong Kong and Malaysia. As of 2018, the platform clocked over 400,000 registered users and 40,000 drivers. An executive from the company revealed that this is the first tech venture for Zou, who is a Harvard Business School graduate and former investment banker.