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Daimler, Boerse Stuttgart explore blockchain for financing machinery, fleets

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Yesterday the Boerse Stuttgart announced that it’s been working on a blockchain project to finance industrial goods, partnering with BoschDaimler Mobility and 51nodes for technology.

The proof of concept has been running since May 2019 and explores issuing tokens to investors on the public Ethereum blockchain to fund machinery, vehicle fleets and energy infrastructure. The next step will be to create a pilot transaction to investors.

Payments to investors are based on pay-per-use with the usage of the goods also tracked using blockchain. Hence it provides companies with more flexible financing options. So if there is low utilization, the payments will remain affordable, although it won’t be so great for investors.

“The project shows what novel investments are possible with blockchain-based tokens for investors in the industrial sector,” said Dr Ulli Spankowski, Chief Digital Officer of Boerse Stuttgart GmbH.

Meanwhile, Daimler envisions the benefits will improve the cost efficiency of financing vehicle fleets. “With security tokens we at Daimler Mobility can make new offers, in relation to electromobility for instance, for the financing of charging infrastructure or vehicle fleet,” said Harry Behrens, Head of the Daimler Mobility Blockchain Factory.

Bosch’s wants to find out whether industrial companies will be willing to adopt these new kinds of financing models. “We currently expect that blockchain-based approaches will make the financing and operation of industrial machinery more flexible and, therefore considerably more attractive,” says Werner Folkendt, Product Owner Industry/Logistics in Bosch’s “Economy of Things” project.

All three companies have significant experience in blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). Boerse Stuttgart has its Digital Exchange and Japanese firm SBI recently invested so they can jointly develop a digital asset ecosystem in Europe and Asia. 

Daimler has the most diverse range of projects ranging from supply chain solutions and trade finance to car wallets and machine payments.

And Bosch has been leveraging DLT in conjunction with its e-mobility and smart city initiatives.

Update: added clarification that the prototype used the public Ethereum blockchain


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