Tech 7 June 2018

Erik Gibbs

Volkswagen partners with carVertical for automotive blockchain apps

A relatively young startup out of Lithuania has landed a huge partnership. The company, carVertical, has won a pitch competition by car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW), and will set up shop at the Volkswagen Future Mobility incubator in Dresden, Germany. In addition, carVertical was awarded a grant worth around $17,000 (€15,000) to assist with development.

The app created by carVertical is designed to prevent used car frauds. It puts all of the information about a vehicle on the blockchain, making it immutable and permanent. Users will be able to use the platform to track a vehicle’s history by its Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN. The company reported that, per a report in Forbes Magazine, odometer fraud cheats consumers out of an estimated $1 billion annually in the U.S. by manipulating the vehicles’ values. The issue is greater in Europe, where around $10.6 billion are lost each year from odometer manipulation.

According to the carVertical website, “Our goal is to enable every car buy around the globe to get authentic and non-faked information about the specific vehicle and to help consumers in the maintenance of their vehicles.”

In a press release on the award program, VW said, “In connection with the program, Die Gläserne Manufaktur also offers the assistance of mentors and coaches, an attractive working environment at the facility, high-quality IT infrastructure, contacts with Volkswagen research and development employees and decision-makers, professional advice by Sächsische Aufbaubank (SAB), close proximity to the start-up scene and both financial and personnel support from the City of Dresden.”

The event was held by the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce. carVertical presented its platform alongside numerous other entrepreneurial teams before being chosen as the winner. It will begin working at Die Gläserne Manufaktr, VW’s innovation center, in Dresden this coming September.

By some estimates, carVertical launched the most successful initial coin offering (ICO) for any company in the automotive industry. When its ICO wrapped up this past January, it had raised just under $20 million. The company is working on several applications designed around a vehicle’s history registry. Its first platform, the history reports, is scheduled to make its official launch sometime in June.

The platform has the backing of the European Union (EU). The company’s board of advisors is composed of current or former car manufacturer executives, blockchain professionals and cybersecurity experts, providing carVertical with in-depth knowledge on how to properly address the issues from several different angles.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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