Are Blockchain and ‘Smart Contracts’ the Secure Future?
Legal risk and reward of blockchain and smart contracts as a prescription for automotive applications
Can blockchain, the digital distributed ledger technology so closely associated with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, be used to mitigate the inherent risks of manufacturing automotive components? Can a hacker-branded technology be trusted to secure our connected and autonomous systems and drive a new mobility future?
If blockchain and smart contracts can provide an avenue for expanding the mobility economy while mitigating legal risks, they may be right for you.
Smart contracts, fortified by blockchain!
Most identify blockchain with the shadowy realm of cryptocurrencies, yet blockchain is simply a digital ledger system incorporating protocols that validate transactions across a decentralized network of computers, using computer logic to automate the tracking of performance events. Simply expressed, the code in smart contracts executes the logic of the legal agreement to exchange and transfer value or information—and the results are recorded on the blockchain.
For example, the French airline AXA has a smart contract that addresses flight insurance. If a flight is more than two hours late, app users are notified with compensation options.
Recently, more than thirty automotive companies joined forces to create MOBI, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (see page 10). Chris Ballinger, MOBI’s founding chairman, said: “Blockchain and related trust-enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles.”