Today, blockchain data firm Ocean Protocol announced its partnership with used car site sgCarMart to build a secure data network. The Singaporean firms plan to release a consumer-facing verifiable ledger to store a used car’s history, the first of its kind for the nation.
Singapore has a thriving used car market, as ownership can be expensive. Today’s announcement claims that nearly 9,000 automobiles changed hands every month in 2018.
There is also the environmental impact to consider; building a new car creates significant carbon emissions, up to 35% of its lifetime footprint. This is partly why it is thought that the smart cities of the future will rely on hiring electric vehicles rather than owning.
Buying a used car is not the most straightforward exchange because there is no single source of truth.
“Currently, customers wanting to buy a used car will need to rely on information provided by the current owner or used car dealer,” explained Glenn Ong, GM of sgCarMart.
“There will be a natural tendency to understate or not reveal defects of the vehicle. Buyers can rely on 3rd party inspection centers to do a check, but matters like odometer tampering can still go undetected,” he continued.
The Know-Your-Vehicle blockchain solution aims to create a source of truth in the blockchain. Data such as mileage, safety ratings, and accident records are stored immutably and transparently. Both parties hope this will be the beginning of an open marketplace where value is based on verifiable facts.
Ong further stated: “We are pleased to unlock used car data so that consumers can make better and safer buying decisions.” Indeed, the firms believe it will make the roads safer, as consumers will be able to know whether a car has passed its tests and resellers will be discouraged from hiding faults.
Though this is the first blockchain powered car marketplace in Singapore, it is not the first of its kind globally. BMW is currently running a pilot to store a car’s mileage on a blockchain, addressing false reporting. SgCarMart is a participant in the Tribe Accelerator where BMW is one of the companies providing guidance.
Meanwhile, Swiss firm cardossier is dedicated to managing the entire history of a car on a blockchain, aiming to create trust in the industry.