Pool My Ride, a startup peer-to-peer rideshare, will utilize blockchain technology — starting in August — to enable its carpoolers to make digital payments for their rides, co-founder Rajat Talwar told Mobility Buzz.
Blockchain is a public ledger of digital transactions that can be shared among a distributed network of computers; it allows participants on the network to securely manipulate the ledger without the need for a central authority.
“Uber has the authority to change its prices or change the availability of cars,” Talwar said. “We don’t want that. We want the whole control to be with the public, so that it is solely peer-to-peer. We want to achieve that goal, and to achieve that we will use some technologies like blockchain and bitcoin for peer-to-peer money handling and transactions.”
Blockchain has garnered particular attention from automakers in recent months. Daimler AG joined the open-sourced Hyperledger Project in February, a collaborative cross-industry effort created to advance blockchain, in an effort to learn more about the technology. Although, the OEM does not have specific plans to implement blockchain in its operations, the company felt that it was the right time to build up its knowledge.
“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,” Kurt Schäfer, head of treasury at Daimler, said in a statement.
And Daimler is not the first carmaker to express interest in blockchain groups: Toyota’s financing arm — Toyota Financial Services — joined the R3 blockchain consortium last year to explore potential applications of distributed ledger technology in auto financing.
As for rideshare, companies like Arcade City and La’Zooz are already using blockchain technology, and Uber allows payments in bitcoin for its riders in Argentina.