Toba Electric, a British electric bike manufacturer, has announced that it is the UK’s first “bankless business” after adopting crypto payments as standard, as well as issuing their own token. The manufacturer, whose CEO Scott Snaith also owns an electric bike retailing business, has taken the decision to do away with traditional banking and instead welcome in the “Tokenised industrial revolution”, which he says is “just around the corner”.
Bank Account Closure Leads to Shift in Sentiment
Snaith, who named Toba after an Indonesian volcano, claims that his company was the first to bring electric bike technology to the UK from Japan 15 years ago. Electric bikes have seen a boom in recent years, both in the UK and other countries, and Snaith has decided to combine this desire to capitalize on the burgeoning market with his other passion – digital currency. The experiment initially ended badly however when Barclays Bank closed the company’s accounts for accepting Bitcoin (Toba eventually won the case), leading to Snaith throwing his hat into the crypto ring entirely.
Toba Token Up and Running
Not only does Toba only accept BTC and BCH for their bikes, they have also minted their own token, which customers can earn through usage of Toba bikes and use to purchase bikes and other equipment. Snaith has grand plans for the token, which he says could result in the bike becoming “not only a bike but a ‘business’” for retailers and distributors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he is incredibly bullish on the long-term prospects for cryptocurrency, and wants his company to be a pioneer of its use in business:
What we are looking is the digitalisation of a future economy that will have very positive effects on mankind. We will go from negative interest rates back to where it pays to earn and save, as opposed to spending on debts. We will look at things very differently in the next decade in the way that we transact, as we enter a new Tokenised industrial revolution.
Snaith isn’t the only Bitcoin-loving e-biker – in October 2018, Matthias Steinig created a prototype rental e-bike that accepted Lightning Network payments, which could make for a very interesting linkup with Toba.