Grab Goes Crypto: How Southeast Asia’s Super-App is Steering a Ride into the Web3 Fast Lane

In a surprising  move that signals the symbiosis between traditional tech services and burgeoning blockchain technologies, Grab—the ride-hailing super-app that has become almost synonymous with Southeast Asia’s digital landscape—has taken a decisive step into the world of web3. With a user base exceeding 34.9 million as of the third quarter of 2023, the firm that already dominates over 500 cities with services like food delivery, package delivery, and online payments, is not just dipping its toes but diving headlong into decentralized waters.

What does this new feature landscape look like for Grab users? First up, you can now set up a web3 wallet right on the app. That’s right! No longer confined to just traditional payments for your rides or takeaways, Grab is allowing users to embrace the crypto revolution. But that’s not all. You can win blockchain-based rewards and even pay using Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Yes, you read that correctly. Those quirky, unique digital assets can now be a part of your everyday Grab experience.

But Grab’s crypto ambitions aren’t a lone endeavor. They’ve partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for this initiative. As part of this collaboration, users in Singapore can look forward to NFT vouchers for popular eateries and experiences in the city-state. As of now, the roll-out of web3 services is concentrated in Singapore, but given Grab’s extensive operational footprint, a broader launch could well be on the cards.

Speaking of cards, or rather, digital assets, Grab has also been participating in a pilot study with MAS that explores the utilization of digital assets like central bank digital currencies, tokenized bank deposits, and stablecoins. The study comes under a larger digital asset-based payment system ambitiously named Purpose Bound Money. The company is not alone in this endeavor, either. It has roped in heavyweight partners such as Amazon and Southeast Asian financial services firm Fazz to test escrow arrangements in this new payment paradigm.

All of this isn’t just a tech-forward company jumping on the latest trend. It’s Grab positioning itself as a pioneer at the intersection of ride-hailing services and blockchain technologies. By integrating web3 services, it effectively created a model where decentralized finance and centralized services can co-exist and mutually benefit each other. And for Grab’s millions of users, this foray into crypto and blockchain means not just a wider array of services but an entirely new frontier in how they interact with technology in their daily lives.

So, next time you book a ride on Grab, you’re not just hitching a ride; you’re joining a journey into the fascinating, often bewildering world of web3. Hold tight, it’s going to be quite a ride.


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Maria Irene
Maria Irene
Maria Irene is a multi-faceted journalist with a focus on various domains including Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Real Estate, Energy, and Macroeconomics. With over a year of experience, she has produced an array of video content, news stories, and in-depth analyses. Her journalistic endeavours also involve a detailed exploration of the Australia-India partnership, pinpointing avenues for mutual collaboration. In addition to her work in journalism, Maria crafts easily digestible financial content for a specialised platform, demystifying complex economic theories for the layperson. She holds a strong belief that journalism should go beyond mere reporting; it should instigate meaningful discussions and effect change by spotlighting vital global issues. Committed to enriching public discourse, Maria aims to keep her audience not just well-informed, but also actively engaged across various platforms, encouraging them to partake in crucial global conversations.


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