After having presented our Multipurpose Blockchain EV Charging Station last week, today I would like to introduce to you our concept for a so-called Car Wallet. According to our aspiration “to first build a functional prototype before presenting an idea”, we can now present to you our first functional Car Wallet prototype. To firstly demonstrate what a Car Wallet is and how it works, we made a short video.
When we received our BMW i3, I was excited about the innovation that lies under the hood of this car. The car has an integrated cellular modem and is therefore always online. Via a modern API (Application Programming Interface) you can communicate directly with the car and design marvellous apps. Thank you BMW.
Likewise, technically speaking, we regard cars with such an interface as being part of the IoT or IoE (Internet of Everything). As we have specialized in developing new solutions through IoT and blockchain technology, we instantly had the idea of implementing a Car Wallet.
Imagine a world where you never ever in advance have to go through an annoying registration process for getting some services, which only feeds the honeypot with your valuable private data. Imagine a world where you can pay for products and any kind of service in a very secure, troublefree and inexpensive way with the currency of your choice — no matter where in the world you might be. Imagine a world where things such as car can be paid to serve you or where a car can pay automatically and autonomously for any kind of service such as parking, toll fees or recharging the battery — without you lifting a finger. Imagine a world where people can offer services such as EV charging or renting out their car to make some extra money.
The only Solution which can make this world happen is Blockchain Technology.
The aim of Blockchainfirst is to develop an ecosystem in which this world can become a reality. 2 years ago I would have been laughed at for having this ambition. Today, with blockchain technology as its core, this target can be met by a startup company and within a relatively short time frame. This is possible through blockchain technology as a basis, as by default blockchain technology can perform simple payment transactions as well as complex business processes via so called smart contracts. Banks, insurances, institutions and every type of organisation, whether large or small, will utilise this technology and adhere to this new standard. To establish a blockchain-based ecosystem for future smart cities and a sharing economy, we can not and will not have finished by just developing a modern EV Charging Station. The next systematically logical step was to develop a Car Wallet. On the one hand, the Car Wallet acts as the fundamental technology for renting one’s car to other people, P2P, and on the other hand, it simultaneously enables the car to perform specific tasks such as the automatic, autonomous payment of parking fees. With our Car Wallet we have made the first step and with the innovative concept of the BMW i3 it works astonishingly well.
What does it mean “Car Wallet” ?
As you can see in the video, the car has a Wallet Address. The Wallet Address doesn’t differ from the address you get when you install a Wallet App like Coinbase or Jaxx on your smartphone. So when you scan a QR code with the app, you scan the Wallet Address of the money recipient.
Therefore the following is possible:
- Send money to this Wallet Address (the car receives money)
- The car sends Wallet Money to other Wallet Addresses (the car sends money/pays)
Any time money is sent to a Wallet Address, a so-called event is triggered in the blockchain (Bitcoin in this instance) and the recipient receives a notification. In our case with the Car Wallet, the car is notified when someone sends money to the car’s Wallet Address. On the basis of the software we have developed, the car knows what to do when money is received on the car’s account. In other words:
When money is received, open the door and authorize starting of the engine, for as often and as long as, until the received amount of money is used up in kilometer driven. When the received amount of money is used up, starting the engine is no longer possible.
If upon receiving money the car can execute a programmed command, it is naturally possible for the car to pay for a service itself should sufficient funds be available on its account (Wallet Address). In other words, the car has quasi access to its account (Wallet Address) and therefore is authorized to send money to other people, but also to other devices or machines.
That’s basically it. For the first time, and only through blockchain technology, physical objects, such as in our case our car, can own a kind of bank account and complete a transaction autonomously.
But why should a car independently, that is autonomously, be able to complete money transactions? Here’s an example: Let’s assume that in the coming years cars will drive autonomously. Autonomous doesn’t just mean that we won’t have to physically steer and control our own cars any more. It also means that in the future, for example taxis will drive autonomously and transport passengers. One example is the startup company Nutonomy http://nutonomy.com from Singapore. Naturally, a car without a driver in flesh and blood must eventually pay for something, for example for a parking space, toll fees or for charging its batteries. With a Car Wallet it is subsequently possible to not just drive autonomously, but to also send and receive money autonomously.
Devices and machines can and will never own a traditional bank account. But they can own one in the blockchain. What a game changer, right?
Were we are right now
As mentioned in the video, over the coming weeks we are further developing our solution and making it practical. Needless to say, with this solution we also have to take into account legal matters and need to clarify what is permitted and what not.
At the same time we’re working on a solution in which the car itself can make autonomous payments. The first example we’re working on is paying for a parking space. So when the car drives up to a parking gate and the car has a Car Wallet, the gate opens. When the car leaves the parking lot, the car autonomously pays the appropriate amount at the gate and the exit gate opens. This solution works already and we will shortly make a video and publish it.
We are currently working towards creating a homogeneous ecosystem and developing a platform on which the user can do the following easily:
- Charge his electric car or motorbike and pay without prior registration
- Anyone can provide paid-for charging services to anyone else, i.e. P2P
- All services can be easily and securely paid for via NFC card (which can be purchased using any Fiat currency)
- Renting out a car to others, P2P, becomes easy using a Car Wallet
- Tedious matters such as parking or tolls fees are paid for autonomously by the car (Car Wallet)
- User accounts and devices (such as the car) are administered and configured via a platform, both through an app and/or a web interface.
- Connect conventional charging stations with our Ethan BioT© Terminal
- Connect other devices and machines (such as vending machines) with our Ethan BioT© Terminal
Of course there is still a long way to go for such an ecosystem to find its way to the end user. But the first step has been made and with our functional prototypes everyone can already try out and test the technology today.
To be continued…