Ridesharing services have been a game-changer in the transportation industry, but they have also been plagued by controversies regarding worker treatment, corruption, and price gouging. Decentralized applications offer a solution to these problems, and Paul Bohm has taken note of this potential. He recently raised $9 million for his software development company Decentralized Engineering Corporation (DEC) to create a decentralized alternative to Uber and Lyft.
DEC has created Trip, a protocol built on the Solana blockchain that is designed specifically for mobility-based applications. The Solana blockchain was chosen for its fast network speed and cost-efficiency, and DEC has built Teleport on top of Trip. Teleport is a decentralized ride-share service that offers a similar experience to Uber and Lyft, and it is set to go live in Lisbon following the Solana Breakpoint conference in early November.
McKillen, a former Uber employee who now works for DEC, says that "by turning ridesharing into a protocol, Teleport is building what we couldn't build at Uber in 2010, and what Uber should be building today… riders and drivers will migrate from centralized middlemen to an open economy with aligned economic incentives." Decentralized ridesharing alternatives like Teleport have the potential to align incentives between drivers and the company, returning more money to workers while also encouraging innovation.
This will likely be accomplished through decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), which are completely transparent, owned by members, and without centralized ownership. Drivers will have a say in the company they drive for and will have ownership over their work, which could lead to the creation of a new ecosystem in which they can collaborate and build together.
Teleport and other decentralized ridesharing applications have the potential to disrupt the current centralized model of ridesharing services. By removing middlemen and aligning incentives between drivers and the company, these applications could create a more equitable and sustainable future for the transportation industry.
The rise of decentralized applications has the potential to shake up traditional business models and provide new solutions to old problems. While the success of Teleport remains to be seen, the future of ridesharing looks to be heading in a decentralized direction, and it will be interesting to see how this new era unfolds.