Chris Ballinger, chief financial officer and head of mobility services for the Toyota Research Institute, said blockchain technology will be just as transformative as the invention of double ledgers during Renascence which led to rapid innovation.
Back then and for much of today’s world, transactions are added twice, one as a debit and one as a credit. Blockchain technology introduces cryptographic proof, he says. So now you have three entries: the credit, the debit and the receipt (the cryptographic signed acknowledgement of the transaction verified by the crowd,) called triple ledger accounting.
That could have significant ramifications with jobs potentially disrupted for anyone who acts as a middleman in financial, licensing, and title transactions, such as bankers, auditors, and escrow officers, Ballinger says.
He points out that Toyota is paying 5% of its profits in fees to such middlemen. The global car giant, therefore, is planing to employ blockchain technology wherever it is feasible.
“If you don’t get involved you will be left behind and it will to be too late. It’s moving quickly and it’s a disruptive technology to solve fundamental problems,” he said speaking at the “Uses of Blockchain: Unlocking Value through Business Innovation” conference in Texas.
Completely new industries will arise, says Ballinger, that will use blockchain technology to secure and ensure the immutability of road sensors, for example, which are needed to serve self-driving cars.
Global giants such as Toyota could use blockchain technology for car loans, he says, bypassing banks and saving in fees as well as potential commissions.
While in a world of self driving cars, they could act as taxis or bus fleets, rather than being individually owned. With blockchain technology potentially employed to automatically pay insurance daily or hourly.
With another use being the connection of batteries to electric grids while they are not in used, or when the stored power is not needed. So automatically receiving payments through blockchain technology.
“It is happening so ignore it at your own peril,” he told the audience. Indicating that clearly Toyota is not ignoring it at all. In fact they are one of the first car giants to explore blockchain technology.
They joined the Ethereum Enterpirse Alliance back in May, and just a week later they announced work on a blockchain based prototype to make car-sharing easier in a self driving cars world or in today’s world as a potential competitor to Uber.
The project so being developed in collaboration with Hudson Jameson, an ethereum developer and chief operating officer at Oaken Innovations.
They now appear to be broadening their horizons, seeing how it can be employed not just in industrial uses, but also in pure finances to manage payments.
Mercedes’ parent company, Daimler, announced back in late June they were piloting blockchain technology just for payments, with it remaining unclear at this stage whether they are expanding it to industrial uses.
While Ford was looking for a blockchain engineer in July to develop applications for smart mobility. So suggesting the car industry generally is looking to see how they can incorporate this innovation in their hundreds of billion dollars yearly operations.