Ryde, a popular car-pooling service in Singapore, has become the first application of its kind to offer bitcoin payment support.
In its announcement made on Wednesday, claimed that Ryde users would be able to deposit or top-up up to $899 in the Singaporian dollar, which would convert to the native Rydecoin without any conversion or transaction charges. The company also claimed that it is the only app that allows customers to pay in Bitcoin from within the native e-wallet.
Terence Zou, CEO of Ryde, claimed that adding Bitcoin payment support was a long-due process and was just a matter of time before it got added. He also mentioned that they had seen a significant boost in their transaction volume, which was one of the critical reasons behind adding Bitcoin payment support. He explained:
“I have been watching the developments of this particular space, and increasingly I’m sanguine about the prospects of cryptocurrency and its usage.”
Ryde might be the first car-polling service to add a Bitcoin payment facility from within their e-wallet. However, the Fold App was the first car-pooling service to introduce bitcoin as a micropayment via the lightning network. It allowed users to pay for rides in Bitcoin through an integration. Ryde, on the other hand, enables bitcoin payments from within the native wallet of the app.
COVID-19 Played a Major Role in Rolling Out Bitcoin Payments With Ryde
Ryde began working on a Bitcoin payment integration to its native wallet app back in 2019 when almost 60% of the Singaporean population was still dependent on cash transactions.
However, the outbreak of COVID-19 helped the car-pooling service accelerate its Bitcoin payment integration as people started avoiding cash transactions in fear of contracting the virus resulting in high demand for cashless transactions.
Ryde seized the opportunity and accelerated development. And that decision seems to have paid off as the firm announced the bitcoin payment integration on Wednesday.
Singaporean Government Trying Hard to Lure Crypto Firms to the Country
Singapore, considered among the most crypto-friendly nations, which is evident from the fact that it’s tied with the United States for third place for the highest number of crypto exchanges as per a recent report released by Crystal Analytics.
However, Zou mentioned that Singaporean people have access to bitcoin but through limited exchanges and ATMs, and it is still not widely accepted by merchants across the country.
The government is trying to change that through better regulations, it recently amended its Payment Service Act 2019, where it allowed prominent exchanges like Coinbase to operate in the country for a specified period. The amendments came into effect from January this year.