Insights & Analyses

Blockchain-based ICO aims to eliminate tipping in service industry

November 20, 2017

A new project aims to leverage blockchain technology to eliminate the need for tipping at restaurants, bars and elsewhere, instead switching to a cryptocurrency to reward service workers for a job well done.

Calling the system “the first cryptocurrency for real world use,” Skedaddle CEO Adam Nestler plans to launch an initial coin offering in January to help fund the “Kudos Project.”

In an interview with Business Insider, Nestler said the goal is to have Uber-like ratings for employees, ranging from restaurant servers to grocery store cashiers. Workers would have their “Kudos” automatically distributed based on a performance rating of 1 to 5.

With its ICO, Skedaddle hopes the Kudos Project will fight back against tipping discrimination, where people of color are paid less, or women are subjected to sexual harassment. By removing tipping from the equation, they hope to create a more equitable system.

Rating and transaction hashes will be bound to the blockchain, which Skedaddle claims will allow Kudos to become “the first verified, global and trustworthy ratings system for businesses.”

The company sees workers embracing Kudos because of fairness, and also because ratings will follow them as they move to different jobs in the gig economy. This would allow customers to follow a favorite bartender to a new location, for example.

Skedaddle believes businesses will be interested as well, because they will not only be able to assess the performance of their employees, but also drive business with loyalty rewards for customers.

ICOs rely on crowdfunding via cryptocurrency, or decentralized digital assets, selling investors a right of ownership or royalties to a project. When buying into an ICO, investors buy coins of the company, in hopes that they will appreciate in value if and when the business is successful.

Skedaddle’s main business is a bus chartering service that has 50,000 riders per month. The Kudos Project is a side venture that hopes to raise $20 million with its ICO, which kicks off Jan. 16, 2018 at 9 a.m. Eastern.

The company has already raised $6 million for its upcoming project, and hopes to open Kudos for all businesses by the end of 2018. Nestler said Skedaddle is already in talks with TaskRabbit and rideshare companies, who have expressed interest in implementing Kudos.