A note before we begin: because it would take up the entire article to explain how blockchain works, I assume you have a basic understanding of the core concepts. If you don’t, I recommend watching this quick 3 minute video before you continue with this or any of my other blockchain articles. Have more time/interest? I recommend this slightly more in depth course.
One industry that has a seemingly timeless association with a grey area potential costs to the consumer is the auto industry. I always laugh when I think about one of my favorite Seinfeld scenes (“you need a new Johnson rod in here!”) highlighting the general lack of transparency around auto repairs and the general distrust consumers and mechanics often contend with. I’m sure you know someone who has a mechanic they swear by, and when you ask them why it’s because they say they can trust him or her. It’s all about trust, and this is precisely why the blockchain will continue to revolutionize the world, one industry at a time. It’s a secure and transparent, decentralized way, to ensure a transaction happens how it should, when it should, and include the people it should.
Think about it, when you take your car to your mechanic now, unless you are a mechanic yourself, you are just trusting them to advise and charge you correctly for your repair. Once you know you can believe them, it’s easy just to drop off your car, and let them quote and do the repair. It would be great to have a network of mechanics you knew you could trust thanks to a collective network membership they all hold and adhere to. By standardizing repair prices, and integrating the blockchain to ensure transactional records are complete, transparent and on record, a system of trust can be established, and consumers protected. This concept is this is true for any specialized technical network of professionals, but the auto sales and repair industry is a perfect fit.
The role of the blockchain is something that can be used throughout the entire lifecycle of auto ownership, from purchase to liquidation. When you buy the car, your title, bank loan, and your insurance can all be associated with the blockchain, confirmed and validated. Imagine what this will do to buying a used car. I know I love Carfax type solutions, which show me a vehicle repair history, but I know that with a transparent and accurate ledger that the blockchain provides, that this would only be enhanced and made more reliable for me as a consumer. For example, I would instantly know if any existing liens were on a vehicle and be able to confirm that they were paid off before I purchased the car and assumed liability for them.
The overall idea is that by using Smart Contracts, all the critical elements of a car transaction are confirmed and trackable.
Add a network of automotive experts standardizing repair costs, and consumers can trust that what they are paying is fair, and also know that the mechanics are putting their reputations on a public ledger that could be evaluated by their peers and other future customers to assess whether or not they were honest and fair.
A company making great strides in this field is a technology company Carfix. They already are in business with over 500 repair shops, some of the largest spare parts distributors in the world, many major dealerships, and over 250,000 users of which 50,000 are regular paying customers. Their blockchain solutions are poised to shake up several billion dollar industries. They are offering an ICO of their Vehicle Lifecycle Blockchain (VLB) token later this month to finance the creation and launch of this new technology solution. Learn all about it on my favorite ICO review site, ICOBench.
"We strongly believe that our blockchain technology can tap into the $1.8 trillion vehicle lifecycle industry to provide consumers with a positive value accretive experience and create significant business and cost-saving opportunities for industry players.” ~Oskar Hartmann, Co-Founder, and President of CarFix.
To date, this is one of my favorite example uses of the blockchain, and I think a great indicator of what's to come. I look forward to seeing them grow and seeing what else happens as the blockchain reinvents the auto industry. From vehicle sales to used vehicle repair, to driver insurance, all passed transparently and fairly from owner to owner.
Another example of how blockchain is reinventing business and changing the world.
This article is part of a new series of articles I am writing profiling businesses reinventing existing industries using the Blockchain.
It’s not just a solution for the Title and Escrow industry, it has the potential to become the new backbone of the internet. Watch, and you will see more and more companies emerging with solutions to existing markets with solutions based on the Blockchain. It’s early days, and the best is yet to come. Follow me here as I will continue to write about great examples of the “Blockchain reinventing business.” If you have or know of a company I can review and potentially profile, please submit your idea to me at reinvent.biz.
Disclaimer: I make the best effort to select companies I feel are the best fit for the markets I profile, and in some cases I work directly with PR firms to promote their clients, who are the leaders emerging in the space. While I am not directly affiliated or invested in the companies I profile here, I do own Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. I hold investment positions in the coins, but do not engage in short-term or day-trading. When mentioning an ICO or TGE, it is not intended to be investment advice. You should seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice. (I recommend Abacus Wealth Partners, for their philosophy of sustainable investing.)
Thanks for reading, and tune in again next time by following me @jesseseaver.