The decentralized blockchain technology makes it possible to take another step towards intermodal, networked and demand-oriented mobility.
Blockchain technology is considered, perhaps, the greatest technological development after the Internet. Initially, the blockchain was designed to be able to send money to peers over the Internet, without intermediaries such as banks. This was achieved thanks to the invention of Satoshi Nakamoto.
A distributed registry that displays encrypted transactions between all network partners makes the technology especially secure, transparent and tamper-proof. Many different parties working together in the value chain can communicate in real time.
The possibilities of applications are huge now: from international payments to supply chain management or healthcare, to mobility. Last but not least, blockchain technology is also shaking up the market for art, music and other spheres of human activity.
Decentralized Transaction Network
The new structure of the DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) protocol is used in the decentralized blockchain technology. This is a special form of electronic data processing that allows all network participants to share read and write access, assuming that you have the right key, called the public key, to decode information. And all in parallel and in real time.
Unlike a centrally managed database, such a network does not require a central instance to create new records in the database and verify their correctness. In DLT, this is done through decentralization as every party in the network can do it. The principle of trust, as it is otherwise defined by such an entity as the state or a bank, is radically changing, as values, contracts and laws are digitized and legitimized by the entire network.
Ecosystem Security Solutions
The combination of DLT with DID (digital Identifiers) and the Internet of Things (IoT) creates completely new opportunities for ecosystems in which we can connect people, objects and companies in a clearly identifiable way. DID is a type of identifier that allows you to verify a decentralized identity. Thus, each user, each device and each company has a unique identification code.
All transactions in the network are encrypted, the network nodes involved check and confirm them. Thus, the data belongs exclusively to the network partner acting accordingly, since they are inextricably linked to their respective digital identification. This solves the problem of the Internet, which we currently do not know in the virtual space, who is really on the other side of the transaction or communication.
With clear and secure connections from DLT and DID, it is possible to rethink entire ecosystems and create numerous synergies.
Mobility of tomorrow requires innovative approaches
Growing cities and increasing CO2 emissions due to steadily dwindling resources require new forms of mobility. Accordingly, various concepts and providers appear like mushrooms under the catch phrase “New Mobility”. They all want to make the future of mobility more sustainable and efficient – whether it’s e-scooters, e-bikes or car-sharing offers.
However, they all work independently of each other, so a separate account or application is usually required to use each individual offer. In addition, there are traditional mobility offers for local and intercity public transport, which are usually also not associated with other providers. In our country, we are dealing with an extremely fragmented mobility market, which lags far behind its European neighbors in terms of networking.
It quickly becomes clear that there are not enough networks that would allow synergy between individual suppliers and would make it easier for mobile customers to combine various offers, as well as verification, booking and payment. Many solutions have been based on integrating partner after partner into your own solution one by one. Accordingly, large aggregators are trying to conquer interface after interface – a time-consuming and expensive process. In addition, it does not offer incentives for strong, established market participants, because in this case they will lose a valuable interface for their customers, and will also be forced to pay for the service.
Blockchain Technology Meets Mobility
This is where decentralized blockchain technology comes into play: if you use it to bring together different mobility providers, new partners can be very effectively connected to others. Like a communication field with a connecting strip, the partners connect once across the bridge. They automatically gain access to the entire ecosystem, provided that they have consented to the use of digital identification. Decentralization gives the advantage that each partner in the ecosystem can also integrate the services of others: each of them can then combine and offer various services of others in their market. Thus, this technology can provide end-to-end mobility between cities and even countries.
Roaming service is possible, as we know from cellular contracts. Thus, the product is no longer an individual “Scooter green” or “Car Sharer blue” service, but a colorful “You can move everything” service offered by a kind of mobility alliance. This makes mobility alternatives more accessible to urban customers, as they no longer need many different applications to book, pay and use various mobile services.
But not only is the connection of new partners simplified thanks to the decentralized blockchain technology, the blockchain also displays the entire process like a digital notary. The so-called transaction as a protocol simplifies payment methods, distribution of sales, identification and verification, as well as digital contracts in the form of smart contracts, that is, programs that register the transaction and automatically ensure that the basic terms of the contract are met.
The Dark Side of Blockchain
Regardless of whether it is carsharing or cryptocurrencies: blockchain introduces new business models into the game and allows you to create innovative applications. But where there is light, there is shadow. Unfortunately, this also applies to one of the most promising technologies of the 21st century.
Exaggerated belief in blockchain is a serious mistake. In some cases, the theme almost takes on religious features. But it is a misconception that this admittedly excellent technology can solve most problems in business and society. Because only now it is gradually becoming clear what can be done with it and what not. This is similar to the development of the Internet in the early 1990s.
If, for example, blockchain prevails in monetary transactions, this may mean the exclusion of certain segments of the population who can no longer participate, as in the case provided for with the CBDC of central banks. Then nothing works without their permission to access the Internet. Then the digital divide becomes a huge problem.
Dreams that cryptocurrencies can be used for the development of the third world are naive. This is impossible without electricity and a mobile phone.
Blockchain creates certain opportunities to get rid of previous systems or expand them, but this can lead to dangerous turns. In Venezuela, many people pay only with Bitcoins, and this development, of course, does not benefit the strong. And in El Salvador, on the contrary: many do not have access not only to the banking system, but do not even have phones, mobile communications and education.
Thus, conflicts between those who want to consolidate the status quo and users of new applications can also be viewed as the dark side of the blockchain. Tensions may also arise between individual states, for example, if blockchains are affected. We need to understand that a new type of currency war is coming.
Full decentralization creates chaos
Another weak point is the exaggerated hopes for decentralization. But it doesn’t work in the real world. Full decentralized use of the blockchain network cannot be, and will not come, because it will inevitably lead to chaos.
In addition, there are already many trends that are more likely to lead to centralization in the development of blockchains.
Despite some disadvantages, there is no getting away from using blockchain. And regardless of Bitcoin, this technology will soon make a big difference. A certain euphoria in this regard is not so bad, because now we are talking about testing specific applications.