MOBI: Big carmakers and cryptos start blockchain-in-mobility group
MOBI might be the group to watch for groundbreaking developments in the automobile industry.
In oversimplified terms, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) is cars on the blockchain. In more accurately simplified terms, it's about leveraging the potential of decentralised networks in the mobility industry.
And in its own words, MOBI is about "using blockchain and related technologies to make mobility safer, greener, and more affordable."
"Blockchain and related trust enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles," said MOBI's first chairman, Chris Ballinger, in a statement. "By bringing together automakers, suppliers, startups, and government agencies, we can accelerate adoption for the benefit of businesses, consumers and communities."
MOBI has landed with a heavy impact. Its car manufacturing members include BMW, Ford, General Motors, Renault and others, currently accounting for over 70% of the world's manufactured vehicles. On the cryptocurrency side, its best-known members are probably IOTA and VeChain. Between them are blockchain, tech and finance companies including Bosch, IBM, Hyperledger and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services.
This wide spread of partners highlights the holistic efforts to integrate decentralised systems into the future of vehicles – or mobility services, as carmakers are increasingly thinking of it.
Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of digital asset investment firm BKCM, called the project "very, very interesting," and said it was "a tectonic shift in the tech landscape, that has the potential to disrupt the growth plans of legacy tech into the auto."
It's possible that news of the IOTA Foundation's involvement in the project was behind the coin's stark 20%+ price climb today, although its seat at the table should probably come as little surprise. IOTA is close partners with Volkswagen and Bosch, and there are already some fairly clear signs of the coin enjoying a future as an industry standard in manufacturing and in mobility services.
VeChain has also seen significant gains in the last 24 hours. Its involvement might similarly come as no surprise and may be borne of its partnership with Shanghai eGrid Consulting Co., which provides software and data solutions to car makers in China.
Data is the most important part of MOBI's initiatives, Kelly said.
"MOBI is doing the end around and making that data self-sovereign and giving the consumer the control over their data property rights," he said.
The crystallisation of the automobile industry around a more organised strategy for decentralised technologies has been a long time coming. The main significance of this development is that it might indicate an upcoming standard for the future of automotive development. With so much of the industry now beneath MOBI's umbrella, it might be the institution to watch for to see future developments in the mobility space.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and NANO.