Ride-hailing platforms have in no doubt changed the mobility industry with their propriety technology. Riders could make payments in fiat currency either by physical cash or transfer.
However, with the coming of blockchain technology and by extension cryptocurrency, payments have been made seamless through peer-based payment means which included crypto coins and tokens.
If digital currencies could make payment easy for ride-hailing, why not apply its propriety technology – blockchain – to solve the challenges that come with mobility and logistics.
These days services have become faster, more convenient and more efficient, thus the need to infuse blockchain technology into the modern-day transportation system.
Nigeria’s Everest, a decentralized Mobility-As-A-Service is deploying blockchain to increase the efficiency of Africa’s mobility system. Everest was co-founded by Israel Clement, Chief Executive Officer and Chukwuebuka Okoroafor. Chief Product Officer.
Built on the Algorand blockchain, Everest seeks to advance the development of the public and private transportation ecosystem in Africa and beyond.
Blockbuild caught up with Israel Clement, one of the co-founders of Everest who told us how the platform is set to revolutionize Africa’s transportation system.
Clement owned an organization he had registered and ran a few years ago called Acomax. The company according to him was into general merchandise, with ventures in general products and services including marketing, distribution, and logistics and while that was going, Clement was already into the blockchain system.
According to him, there are endless possibilities of integrating blockchain systems into all industries while deriving maximum benefits.
Explaining further, Clement stressed that he had developed a penchant for mobility, according to him, he had been studying how blockchain can be integrated into solving transportation challenges.
“I wanted to have an experience of how the whole thing would work around urban transportation, ride-hailing, and logistics. I did the ride-hailing through Acomax manually without an app and this was much like an experiment to see how it will actually work, even though it was fruitful I noticed some inefficiencies, thus I had to call it off.”
Just about some months into the end of 2021, the Rivers State Government made some changes in the transportation structures, a move which prompted me to reawaken my abandoned project work and started implementation and that’s how Everest came about.”
Everest Mobility Limited is an organization focused on integrating the blockchain system, into the transportation system. According to Clement, Everest is taking into consideration all parts of the mobility system including governance, escrow services and cost optimization.
He further explained that the startup is tackling the steady increase in fares and driver’s commission. According to Clement, Everest is introducing a zero commission system to the drivers which will make them enjoy a full 100% of their earnings.
Stressing more on the use case of blockchain, he mentioned that the technology makes you take full control while also enabling a p2p system.
In following the company road map, Everest is going to be partnering with airlines and some other transportation companies to plug into its administration system, with this development, passengers can directly book a flight from their Everest app.
Everest also owns a utility token called the EVR and this will enable the startup to carry out incentives such as cheap fare rates, and hoarding for profits.
“Basically, we are taking up the whole transportation system and integrating blockchain into it, we planned to go all cryptocurrency for the payment system because it can be tracked on the blockchain ledger, but we realized we had to take it one step at a time”
According to Clement, recent research has shown that Everest Mobility solution is the first of its kind in Africa. As stated by him only 4 countries – Nigeria, India, Canada – have similar solutions to Everests’.
“We are the only ones in Africa that are coming out with this. So we believe this is a strong point where the blockchain tech can be optimized, surely for good. And especially with the high rates of inefficiencies, even most recently with the ride-hailing systems that are in the mobility industry”
The choice of transportation/logistics
“I wasn’t just thinking and brainstorming to start out a business or to start a solution in the blockchain.”
Clement explained that there is a need to integrate blockchain tech into every industry while acknowledging that there are several other problems that needed to be solved in different sectors of the economy, Clement has always found a niche in the transportation system.
“And that’s I’ve always been there. I’ve had a story coming up in that industry. I’ve interned in the industry and I’ve also done some work for a long time. Hence the drive to bring it into that industry.”
According to him, there are a lot of inefficiencies in the transportation system, however, if the challenges can be tackled with intentional strategies across all other sectors, then it can be taken to an optimized position where a lot of things in the economy will thrive using the advantages in the blockchain technology
“This is my reason, it’s my drive. It’s my thing for the transportation industry really, followed by the obvious inefficiencies in the system.”
Everest’s unique point
There are several ride-hailing platforms out there and lately, there has been issues with high cost and safety.
Clement explained that blockchain integration will make it cost-efficient. In addition, Everest native token, the EVR will be enabled to make the cost of fare affordable, however, he added that there would be other options including cash and card to make payment.
He added that using EVR will make the fare cheaper. Clement also restated that Everest is executing a zero commission on the part of the drivers.
“We’ve done analytics, received complaints and threats, that can be molded. And there’s a reason why I as a driver would want to continue using the popular ride-hailing platforms.”
For security, Clement stated that Everest is inputting it own measures on the platform asides from the general state security system leveraging blockchain. Everest will allow you to fill in all the security numbers, maybe your family or friends. Thus they see you in real-time.
Everest will also be introducing a biometric facial recognition system for drivers that will ensure that the system picks up the driver’s identity when a ride is about to take place.
Clement acknowledges that this may not solve the security challenge completely but it will minimize it to a reasonable percentage.
The EVR Token
As explained by Clement, The token will be deployed in paying for rides as the driver will be allowed to receive that token for hodl or fiat remittance.
According to him, not all drivers can start out by accepting the EVR token, thus there are options for users via the platform to pay in cash, card and the EVR token which will be cheaper. Everest is in partnership with 100pay to achieve it.
The drivers receive their money in cash with the option of converting it to EVR token. Also, you can choose to hoard the token as it will pump since it will be listed on several exchanges as well.
“We have an inflation calculation system that we have applied to cancel out the coin in the eventuality of it dropping, so we have all that calculated at the backend integrated to the smart contract system.
“So you can hold or stake for profits, you can use to pay fares, and you can also use (stake) to vote governance systemic vote against or for proposals or for new features, or for any sort of new updates. So these are very few relatable use cases of the EVR Token”
Clement explained that the major part of the logistics is the escrow service, explaining further he said that the major issue with logistics is the delivery to the final destination which comes up with challenges like tracking your goods, and not being sure when they will be delivered.
“But on the Everest platform, which is built on blockchain, makes it visible enough to track your product, you can see where it is at a time, you know, you can track your time, not just you this, I mean, it’s an open ledger. So you can track it everywhere a person can see how that is working.
The escrow service deployed there is in a smart contract where the platform gets to hold the amount paid for with onto deliveries confirmed on both ends. And then the system automatically releases the money to the service provider So that’s how that escrow system actually works, automatically.”
On the driver’s part, Clement explained that they receive notification for logistics as a service and not ride-hailing, however, they also receive otherwise depending on the service that was sent by a user.
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