Hyperloop: from Science to Reality.
Vacuum Train Running on Blockchain.
There are many companies right now competing to become leader in the development of Elon Musk’s Hyperloop open-source idea, as we know.
Hyperloop One, the most active company in the field at the moment, is considering the integration of Hyperloop with other disruptive technologies, especially showing great interest towards blockchain and A.I, in order to develop an integrated and scalable ecosystem for the public transportation industry, boosting customer experience and beating competition.
The method chosen to build an integrated ecosystem involves tokenization. In particular, Hyperloop could greatly benefit from a token issuance for the following purposes:
- Dynamic ticketing and integrated service offer
The basic idea is to represent all parts of a common “journey” by tokens on a blockchain, meaning single travels (or traveled miles), services, catering, hotel bookings, local transport or other assets that bring value to the overall journey made by a customer via Hyperloop, which can be saved in the customer’s personal wallet. The customer may then transfer these assets, wholly or partially, even selling them or giving them back to the issuer. The use of a specific asset is carried out by transferring the corresponding tokens from the customer’s wallet to those of the service provider.
- Insurance and refund claim evasion
Tokens can be a medium for premium/claims payment and capital reserving and may also be used to transfer value within a multinational market or organisation like Hyperloop, at the same time acting as an incentive for valued activities on a mutual insurance platform put in place to secure Hyperloop and its customers around the World.
- Biometric, digital identity and authentication
One approach that has emerged over the last year or so as a possible solution to creating a more secure and seamless travel experience is the development of single passenger tokens, which use passengers’ biometric data to identify them at Hyperloop station touch points, removing the need for them to present their digital ID and other travel documents at every step of the journey.
To make this possible, the travellers’ biometrics, such as a facial recognition scan, must be matched with their digital ID and ticket at the very start of the journey.
- Supply chain management (freight transport) and asset tracking
By using Proof of Location technology, the physical location coordinates of Hyperloop vactrains could be broadcasted to the blockchain in a way that other devices can rely on the location data, without having to trust the broadcasting device, and thus making the tracking of assets transported via Hyperloop completely transparent. Such information may then be linked to insurance smart contracts on the same blockchain, which would activate as soon as a parameter meets the conditions agreed and programmed in such contracts.
Position-dependent applications include supply chain, parametric insurance, KYC/AML verification, or even consumer transactions. E.g, an online store might need to prove that an item has been delivered to you so that the smart contract can automatically trigger a payment from your wallet.
- Real estate and land rights
One of the biggest issues, hindering the actual construction of Hyperloop so far, has been the acquisition of land to build the vacuum tubes and the laws. Even considering to win the fight to acquire all the 2000 kilometers needed for the implementation of the infrastructure, the land ownership and right of ways certificates successfully obtained should be registered on the blockchain and represented by tokens, in order to guarantee and prove exclusive access to the land, especially in the case of an unjustified claim by any other party against the company building the Hyperloop tubes.
It’s no secret that the complex nature of public infrastructure is also a huge attack vector to the data security of our public infrastructure sector. By building a system as crucial as that represented by Hyperloop atop cryptographically secured systems that are funded, built, and maintained by the underlying token assets, we can greatly reduce the potential for large scale disruption and malice on the public goods we depend on daily.
Ultimately, when approaching a potential project of this scale, it is important to remember that humans interacting with a system will never be flawless and that tokenization can effectively be used as a means to reduce inefficiencies due to reduced human intervention and mitigate unnecessary spending, while creating a transparent process from A to Z, alleviating long-standing issues in permanent mobility systems.