Cryptocurrency

ServisHero Goes Blockchain, But Their ICO Isn't Just To Raise Funds

  • ServisHero has announced that they will be porting to a blockchain-based system, and launching an ICO too. 
  • The shift to blockchain is to help automate certain tasks, which could help ServisHero make a lot of savings. 
  • It will also help them tap into the global gig economy, by expanding their services into graphic design, etc. 

Everyone and their mothers are jumping on that blockchain bandwagon now. And it’s hard not to see its value, like the story of how one company added blockchain to its name and saw its stocks soar.

Even large and established companies like AirAsia are considering ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), which are basically a way of crowdfunding, where contributors get blockchain-based tokens instead of shares.

ServisHero, a Malaysian startup that connects Malaysians with “heroes”—plumbers, cleaners, wedding planners, gym coaches, etc has voiced its intention to do the same.

It was just announced that the homegrown company will be porting their business onto the Ethereum network, while offering an ICO.

“We have been watching the blockchain space closely over the last few years and know that this technology must be embraced by organisations like ours for us to remain relevant,” said Karl Loo, CEO and founder of ServisHero.

ServisHero’s foray into blockchain is interesting—as a formerly non-fintech company that is now actually utilising blockchain, it’s not just for an ICO; blockchain will become a core structure of their growing services.

The ICO isn’t just for the sake of fundraising.

Instead, they want to use it to become a decentralised service provider platform.

ServisHero already has a merchant credit system, which would lend itself well to tokenisation.

The white paper will be released in the coming weeks, but ServisHero’s new ecosystem will be powered by ServisHero Coin that is built on the Ethereum blockchain. The blockchain infrastructure will be developed in part by Silicon Valley-based Origin Protocol, aiming to make trade on online marketplaces more efficient and fair.

They will be taking advantage of the decentralised system to expand their offerings from into digital tasks, like graphic design and etc.

The hope is for ServisHero to truly take their business global, and allow the business to tap into the global gig economy worth more than US$250 billion.

The protocols underpinning the new ecosystem aim to decentralise two key features:

1. Payment

Eventually, rather than stay on the existing system, ServisHero wants to use smart contracts instead.

Fun Fact: Smart contracts directly controls the transfer of digital currencies between two parties under certain conditions. The smart contract will automatically enforce the rules and penalties around an agreement, and can even define those rules.

The hope is that by utilising ServisHero’s native currency though smart contracts, they can eliminate the need for third-party financial institutions, to truly make payments peer-to-peer.

Automating this will also help ServisHero save on third-party costs, which they hope to translate to users too eventually.

Reduced transaction fees could help someone in Malaysia to hire someone all the way in Istanbul without having to worry about paying for transfer fees, if their work is really what they need.

Karl has also informed us that their decentralised and tokenised platform will, “Provide financial incentives for marketplace participants who contribute to the growth of the network. For example, through referring new users and businesses to the platform, participants will be rewarded in tokens.”

Smart contracts allow for the automation of payments to service providers. Only when a job is satisfactorily completed will funds be released, providing end users peace of mind when transacting over the platform.

2. Reputation

Any service providers with a good business ethics could see greater income opportunities, since they can showcase their immutable work transaction history that has been built on the blockchain platform.

Being able to see an untampered service provider history, in Karl’s opinion, could help strengthen the ‘trust’ in business transactions. This is because part of this smart contract will include an ESCROW system, where payments will only be released once the job is done satisfactorily.

Disputes on the ServisHero platform can potentially be automated using smart contracts and their blockchain as well.

“We believe that decentralisation of systems and payments provides a major threat to ‘centralised marketplaces’ that operate on legacy technology and we are taking proactive steps to make sure we are ready for this blockchain future. ServisHero has always strived to be a market leader,” said Karl about the move to blockchain.

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ServisHero is currently still porting their system over to blockchain, but they will be running on a hybrid until it achieves full decentralisation.

While the ServisCoin was not designed for the purposes of raising funds, coins with very specific, in-platform purposes have flourished before—Ripple is just one well-known example.

For now, we’ll be watching for Bank Negara’s reaction closely to determine whether a similar type of ICO would be given their blessing here.

  • You can find out more about ServisHero’s ICO on their page here

Feature Image Credit: ServisHero

 

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