Mercedes' Parent Firm Partners With DLT Provider to Develop Vehicle-Based Hardware Wallet

Samuel Haig

Major German multi-national firm behind the Mercedes-Benz brand, Damler, has recently partnered with a distributed ledger technlogy provider to develop autonomous car technology.

The partnership was announced via a press release on July 22, with Austrian-based blockchain technology provider Riddle & Code stating that its hardware wallet is powering “a Daimler Financial Services-led consortium to provide an open car wallet solution.”

Tom Fürstner, the chief technology officer of Riddle & Code, stated: 

Autonomous cars must behave consistently to be trusted. Cars are already computing devices. A secure identity ensures that the right authorities have approved code executed inside vehicles and the trustworthiness of data exchanged. Riddle & Code secures this with its cryptographic hardware and uses ledgers to turn automobiles into future market places.

The company asserts that car wallets will enable a number of utilities, including the real-time exchange of data between vehicles and smart-city environments,  and the operation of autonomous vehicles.

The announcement followed Daimler’s successful conclusion of the sixth round of its Start-Up Autobahn program in Stuttgart which focussed on the top of “the future of mobility.” Daimler is now in the process of launching its seventh round, which will focus on sustainability.

Automotive Companies Increasing Pivots Toward Blockchain

Alexander Koppel, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Riddle & Code, described the partnership as “a prime example of a global market leader betting on European industry collaboration and DLT-based innovation,” adding that “A new generation of open mobility services will create new business models.”

As part of the consortium, Riddle & Code will provide technology supporting “vehicle identity,” “trusted data provenance,” and “a settlement layer.”

During February 2019, Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG, announced that it had partnered with United States-based software company Icertis to develop a “blockchain-prototype for sustainable supply chains.”

At the time, Mercedes-Benz representative, Wilko Stark, stated: 

Blockchain technology has the potential to fundamentally revolutionize our procurement processes, and could affect nearly the entire value chain. Global supply chains are becoming increasingly complex. With our Blockchain-prototype, we are in the first step testing [...] diverse possible applications with the aim of increasing transparency beyond our direct suppliers.

Daimler, who owns or holds shares in Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG, and Mitsubishi Fuso, has been a member of Hyperledger since 2017. During the same year, Daimler AG and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg jointly used blockchain technology to conduct a financial transaction.

PayPal is Cautiously Optimistic About Partnership with Libra Association

  • PayPal cautious about future with Facebook's digital currency libra. 
  • Payment platform was one of the first companies to join and support the Libra Association.

Payment platform PayPal is cautiously optimistic about its relationship with Facebook’s digital currency libra, despite being the highest-profile company to join the Libra Association. 

PayPal Backs Libra Association

In June, shortly after the official unveiling of Facebook’s libra, PayPal announced an intention to join and support the Libra Association, a collection of tech and finance companies promoting the product. 

At the time, PayPal billed the digital currency as a revolutionary product for people around the world, 

We believe in democratizing participation in the digital economy for people from all walks of life, and businesses of all sizes.

However, PayPal appears cautious about its future with Facebook’s digital currency. PayPal investor relations vice president Gabrielle Rabinovitch reiterated Sept. 12 that the company is a non-binding agreement with libra, 

It's a non-binding commitment. And obviously, I think there's a lot of work to happen before we get to that point where it becomes something more than just a very exciting idea.

She added, 

The goals and ambitions of Libra are very consistent with PayPal's overall ambitions in terms of serving the underserved; democratizing access to capital. So we very much believe in the potential of Libra.

While PayPal appears optimistic about the future of libra, the digital currency has endured months of regulatory and political scrutiny concerning its release. 

Earlier in the week, senior U.S. Treasury official Sigal Mandelker told an audience in Geneva that libra would be held to the highest standard of regulatory compliance in order to combat money laundering and terrorist funding.


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