New ride-hailing service DACSEE rides on blockchain technology

PETALING JAYA: A new ride-hailing service that was introduced today will test regulators’ tolerance of the use of cryptocurrency in business, as it looks to grow its driver base by paying out commissions in cryptocurrency.

The brand-new ride-sharing service offered by Decentralised Alternative Cabs Servicing and Empowering Everyone (DACSEE) uses an e-wallet system powered by blockchain technology. A soft launch was held today and the app for the ride-sharing service is to be officially rolled out in April. Science, Technology & Innovation Deputy Minister Datuk Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah attended the soft launch.

The DACSEE platform enables drivers to build their own fleet with partner drivers and users registering with DACSEE automatically become a rookie driver and passenger, which gives drivers and referees a 1-2% overriding commission in the form of DACSEE Token, offering opportunities to earn passive income.

On the part of the riders, the payment method is the same as for other ride-hailing services – with cash, debit card or credit card.

According to a media statement by the company, the tokens can be exchanged at any time into any world currency through authorised cryptocurrency exchanges.

DACSEE’s white paper published on its website revealed that the token is a “decentralised Ethereum ERC20 token that customers will use to pay for taxi rides in a cryptographically-secured, unstoppable fashion”.

“It will be distributed to ICO (initial coin offering) contributors automatically through the Ethereum network and will be accessible to all users online through the DACSEE Wallet App and in Google Play Store. Like all ERC20-compliant tokens, DACSEE tokens may be stored and transferred only with an Ethereum private key and can be used across platforms in many wallets compatible with Ethereum,” the white paper read.

However, at today’s soft launch, DACSEE COO and co-founder Lim Chiew Shan did not directly answer whether the token is a form of cryptocurrency, except to say that it is a “blockchain-based” technology. He also denied any multi-level marketing structure in its business model.

“The technology beneath DACSEE is blockchain because we want the payment to be as transparent as possible. If you are a driver, I deduct RM2 from you, you can check DACSEE’s account (to see) where this RM2 goes … this is why it is (called) crypto,” said Lim.

“The DACSEE token is a reward and the crypto is just a technology beneath it. We are not saying that one has to buy Dacsee tokens to pay. It is not a form of payment, it is basically a technology that runs the platform because we want it to be transparent,” he added.

DMD Technology Sdn Bhd, the app developer, was incorporated on Jan 2, 2018.

All stakeholders including the founders of the platform, drivers and referees will all be rewarded with this token. A driver will have to get three references in order to obtain a driver ID, as part of a verification process. One of the referees will be the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

When contacted, a SPAD spokesperson confirmed that the company did engage with the commission, but stressed that it was merely at the preliminary level whereby the company’s business model had been presented. No approvals have been given.

The Securities Commission declined to comment when contacted regarding the new venture.

Besides Malaysia, DACSEE’s service has already been launched in Thailand. Bangkok Post reported on Dec 25 that the blockchain-based ride-sharing platform was in the ICO phase with the aim of raising US$20 million (3.9 billion baht).