Uber might have revolutionized an industry, but a new threat rises

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This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

It’s not taxi drivers, nor government regulations, nor competitors like Lyft or Cabify: the biggest threat to Uber is a technology that has the potential to take the revolutionary company out of the market. Blockchain, is a decentralized network, where there is not one person who has more power than the rest.

It has the potential to destabilize Uber’s business model as the company did with one of the most important industries in urban life: transportation.

The argument that is usually mentioned against Uber, which ultimately provides a better service at a cheaper price, is unfair competition with traditional taxi drivers.

Uber, Cabify, and Lyft are just examples of digital platforms that integrate the “collaborative economy,” this economic system that has been around for less than a decade, is based on goods and services that are shared and exchanged through digital platforms. Uber, for example, is the largest private carrier in the world and does not own a single vehicle.

In 2014, it was estimated that the collaborative economy was worth approximately 14 billion dollars. By 2025, just over a decade later, it is projected to reach 335 billion dollars, and an important part of that estimated value comes from the rates charged by these companies in each transaction.

These companies are known as “disrupters” or disruptive innovation companies. They created user experiences that millions of customers considered preferable to the services offered by the more traditional players of hospitality and transportation, such as the rewriting of rules on consumer participation and, in the process, the disappearance of entire industries.

Blockchain technology, which would create a decentralized economy, implies true disinter-mediation in the relations between the parties. The main difference with the collaborative economy is that in this case there is an entity behind Uber which is the one that takes a margin from each operation. That is, Uber regulates that the platform has quality and charges commissions for trips made by users and drivers. In the decentralized economy that figure disappears, and it is the user community that receives these tokens for doing a job that was previously done by a centralized entity.

A truly decentralized exchange environment, which would be possible with blockchain technology, would allow Uber drivers (or Airbnb hosts, for example) to get a share of the company’s overall profits, instead of simply acting as ‘contractors’ for a large company that is more interested in maximizing their own benefits.

Another aspect of improvement that the blockchain technology adds is that the data is not stored in a single location, but is distributed and distributed in each block of the chain. With no centralized authority, service providers and consumers could connect directly. Currency exchange, in addition, is already integrated into technology.

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

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Acerca de Lucas Vargas:

  • Empezó en Grupo ZAP como el VP de Sales y en 2016 cuando la empresa tenía 60 empleados. Fue nombrado COO de VivaReal tomando el mando de Brian Requarth el Co-Fundador. VivaReal lanzó en Colombia y se trasladó a Brasil. En 2017 se hizo CEO del Grupo ZAP.
  • Ha trabajado en Mexico en PWC y en el Banco Santander
  • Tiene un Master de Business Administration de Harvard
  • En noviembre este año después de la fusión de OLX Brasil y Grupo ZAP fue nombrado el CEO del OLX Business Unit. Lidera la empresa junto con Andries Oudshoorn y Marcos Leite
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.