Welcome to the Bikestream Files, a a newsletter on the Bikestream project by Charles (Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative), with help from Gavin.
It includes progress reports and thoughts on research, useful articles, videos, podcasts, tweets, tools, project updates, events, and more related to developing the project.
What are social tokens?
Maximilian Perkmann in Social Tokens: The Next Big Crypto Thing?, defines social tokens as “Tokens that can be assigned to individual persons or communities.”
How does it apply to cyclists?
In UCLA basketball sub Jaylen Clark to have his own cryptocurrency, Myron Medcalf discusses Jaylen Clark, a UCLA basketball reserve, who released his own social token ( $JROCK ) with Rally.
Some excerpts from the article:
He said he'll use his own crypto to build his connection to his fans through various events, such as ticket giveaways. Those who use $JROCK will also have access to unique content through his platforms.
Months after name, image and likeness rules changed for collegiate athletes, Clark said he doesn't believe most athletes will benefit. But those who have a strong social media following, he said, will thrive. He said he already is generating significant revenue through his YouTube page after "being able to monetize your fan base."
Just like Jaylen Clark, cyclists (professional, semi-professional, and amateurs ) can also offer their own social tokens to brands and fans to support their cycling activities, and in turn token holders can receive some benefits like a session to cycle or train with the cyclist or have the cyclist advertise a brand’s products.
Especially for aspiring professional cyclists, a databike can come in handy to show off your stats and start garnering attention.
A cyclist can create social tokens by using platforms like Roll or Rally.
What is the social token paradox?
In The Double Edge Sword of Exclusivity, Mason Nystrom describes the social token paradox and digs into possible strategies around the paradox.
The challenge is that social tokens need to appreciate by including new members and yet these membership gated communities must keep their groups exclusive otherwise the social and utility value will decrease.
Nystrom outlines three strategies to deal with the social token paradox described above:
Performance or Accomplishment Exclusivity: “[a]ccomplishment or performance is a socially valuable signal. Oftentimes performance can be vague to assess, however, Rabbithole has already started to create on-chain records for completing certain tasks. Additionally, membership can be given to individuals who have completed tasks in various DAO (e.g. bronze members, silver members, etc.) or previous voters. Tiered membership based on accomplishments or participation can bring together individuals from different communities into a single DAO or community. Imagine having some of the top contributors or voters from various DAOs all in one single DAO.”
Time Exclusivity: “[c]reating membership based on time can align long-term players and adds an element that cannot be gamed or financially purchased. Time membership can also be combined with accomplishments such as tasks that involved grinding away at some task for hours or weeks until it is achieved. This model can incentivize the development of communities that require significant effort to join.”
Experience or Service Exclusivity: “[s]hared experience unites various individuals whether it be fraternities, college students, people in the same geolocation, or otherwise. Experiences can also be cause-oriented such as charitable affiliates or event-oriented by requiring individuals to attend an artist’s concert before getting an NFT that provides access to their discord channel.”
I think using the very act of cycling can help get around that with Performance or Accomplishment Exclusivity.
TransportVisible.cat wants to be a territorial platform for Sustainable Urban Microdistribution, where the real uses of sustainable vehicles and services linked to the urban distribution of goods are made visible, and in which its operators act in a concerted and responsible way. with the territory itself and its needs, while contributing to local development.
Very cool organization in Spain working on making uses of sustainable vehicles and services linked to the urban distribution of goods visible.
Collective fractional ownership
Shermin Voshmgir in Token Economy: How the Web3 reinvents the Internet discusses in the excerpt below how blockchain can be used to fractionalize ownership of physical assets such as a taxi vehicle.
“Such a setup could also be attractive for taxi drivers. Many drivers lack the money to invest in their own car, and thus work for a company to provide the infrastructure, sharing their revenues or paying a fixed rent to the vehicle’s owner. Fractional collective ownership tokens would allow several taxi drivers to collectively purchase a car, instead of renting it from someone, and split up the shifts as well as the costs and revenues involved with buying and maintaining the car for their rides. A smart contract could collect a portion of everyone’s revenues, allocated for the expenses involved.”
“Collective fractional ownership tokens could furthermore manage the commons of a larger community, and settle the right of an individual to the benefits from community-owned assets. The state of Alaska in the United States and Norway have already passed their residents a share of their oil sales, either directly or in the form of wealth funds. Such a process could be tokenized to reduce settlement costs, while increasing transparency and accountability.”
This would be an interesting experiment with databikes and help reduce the individual cost of conversion or purchasing a new e-bike like the example with taxi drivers, while collecting earnings from data sales and bicycle-related services.
Some emerging Web3 services for fractionalization are Nftfy and Fractional.
Play-to-Earn, Cycling Games, and Gamification
Sergey Baloyan in Play 2 Earn: A New Trend on the Crypto Market defines Play-to-Earn (P2E) as a model that “lets the players create new digital assets and trade them via the game’s infrastructure.”
I can see P2E being implemented in a virtual cycling game like Zwift, where you can earn assets or currency based on your cycling statistics, route completion and times, etc.
In Europe’s electric bike companies REALLY don’t want you hacking your e-bike to go faster, Micah Toll discussed how Europe’s major electric bicycle companies are signing onto an industry-wide commitment to prevent owners from hacking their e-bikes for more speed and power under the Confederation of European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI).
“The signatories include major e-bike motor manufacturers such as Bafang, Bosch, Brose, and Shimano.”
Electrek’s take is described in the snippets below.
Many companies have already begun cracking down on the practice, and Bosch even introduced an update that would lock the bike’s motor if the rider tried to repeatedly hack it for more speed. Some countries, such as France, have made hacking e-bikes an offense that could be punishable by jail time.
While many riders are simply looking for more speed to get where they’re going faster, safety concerns regarding faster e-bikes have led to this pushback from the industry. Pedestrians have been hit and killed by hacked e-bikes that were traveling faster than manufacturers intended.
The issue is that this isn’t a matter of e-bikes, it’s a matter of fast bikes. Period. A common argument against e-bikes is that they weigh more and thus a potential crash is more dangerous.
A typical battery and motor add around 5-6 kg to a bike. So I don’t buy the argument that we need to keep e-bikes slower because they weigh more, especially when the weight difference is somewhere around 5-8% of the entire rider/bike system. That 5 kg can be the same as a pedal bike rider who can’t exercise self-control in the candy store. If anyone really believed in the merit of that argument, they’d advocate for selling a scale with e-bikes and force heftier riders to use a slower speed limit. The variation in human weights is simply much larger than the variation in bicycle/e-bicycle weights.
In my opinion, location-based bicycle speed limits make much more sense than e-bike power limits. We don’t force car manufacturers to limit horsepower to 70 hp. We tell car drivers not to travel faster than 70 mph. Or 35 mph. Or whatever the safe speed is for a specific area. And that’s exactly the point – safety is relative. Creating a single power or speed limit that is built into the e-bike makes no sense if the argument is safety. Why not take a real step towards safety and actually put smart restrictions in place that make a larger impact on the safety of riders and pedestrians.
As an added bonus, tickets for hooligan riders that exceed the safe speed limits in high-traffic areas can be issues and the money put towards building safer cycling infrastructure.
Now that’s a plan.
I (Charles) think both sides on this debate have merit, but I lean towards Electrek’s take.
Preventing the hacking of e-bikes is important because of the injury concerns for cyclists and pedestrians, but I think this is the wrong approach because it undermines the e-bike owner's ability to customize the e-bike to fit their specific needs.
Additionally, and as stated by Electrek, the issue here is not e-bikes but instead cyclists riding too fast. It is not too dissimilar to a person driving a car too fast and getting into an accident. The problem isn't the e-bike, but instead the cyclist's riding behavior.
Lastly, doing such a thing hurts the cyclists who do not engage in such risky behavior because they cannot customize their bikes and may face civil or criminal liability for doing so. Instead of directly targeting offenders, the plan is to limit all cyclists
This is an area where Bikestream can help out with because Bikestream supports customization of e-bikes so that cyclists can meet their specific needs (and are not locked into specific companies), and the databike standard acts as a guide rather than a hard limit (other than for certain cases such as competitions and events).
Here are some resources on the Bikestream project.
Dr Mark Taylor, Databike: Good and bad vibrations
A Novel Crowdsourcing Model for Micro-Mobility Ride-Sharing Systems
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