German automaker and multinational Daimler AG has joined the open-source blockchain working group, the Hyperledger Project.
Daimler AG, the parent company behind one of the world’s most recognizable brands in Mercedes-Benz, is the latest example of an industry giant investing and researching blockchain technology.
The automotive company joins as a ‘Premium Member’ in an arrangement that will see Daimler’s head of Finance and IT Control, Jonas von Malottki, represent the German giant on the Hyperledger Governing Board, an announcement revealed.
Daimler AG CIO Jan Brecht stated:
We see Blockchain as a promising technology, not fully mature yet, but continuously growing. Now is the right time to get into it, build up knowledge and form a network of like-minded people to share experiences.
Led by the Linux Foundation, the open-source Hyperledger Project is arguably the world's most prominent and open enterprise blockchain effort that sees participation from over a hundred members representing various industries from across the world.
“Having one of the world’s leading industrial and transport companies join Hyperledger is very exciting,” stated Brian Behlendorf, Hyperledger’s director. “The diversity of our membership continues to grow, demonstrating that blockchain technology has the potential to impact many industries and transform the way business processes are handled.”
With a $250,000 annual membership fee, a premium member will directly contribute to the development process of developing and deploying open-source enterprise blockchains. Technology giant IBM and New York-based blockchain startup Digital asset, the latter which donated the ‘Hyperledger’ name to the Linux Foundation, have contributed code to the project as premium members at the inception of the project in late 2015.
The German automobile manufacturer joins the Hyperledger Project soon after acquiring PayCash Europe, a Luxembourg-based digital payments platform that offers a number of payment options including bitcoin.
Calling the acquisition a part of its “mobility and digitization strategy”, Daimler will launch look to integrate PayCash’s payments technology to its own proprietary payment platform, aptly named ‘Mercedes pay’, to be used on a smartphone. With its own platform, Daimler aims to integrate ‘Mercedes Pay’ with European car- and ride-sharing platforms ‘Car2Go’ and ‘mytaxi’, both of which are owned by the German automaker. Pointedly, the company also plans to use the payments platform with its financial arm Daimler Financial Services which offers vehicle financing to car buyers.
Nodding toward other possible applications of blockchain technology, Daimler treasury chief Kurt Schäfer stated:
Being a part of Hyperledger allows us to collaborate with a global network of experts in order to build the cross-industry blockchain standard for customers, supply chain, digital services, financial services and financing tools.
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