IBM Joins Automakers, Banks in Blockchain Wallet Project Expansion

IBM is joining a consortium effort that seeks to conceive how blockchain payments could help power autonomous vehicles.

AccessTimeIconSep 12, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:55 a.m. UTC

IBM has joined car manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen and investment bank UBS in an effort to build and develop a blockchain-based mobile payment system for the automotive industry.

Announced today at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the partnership is being positioned as one that conceives how driverless vehicles might automatically authorize payments, as well as act as a digital operator for the vehicle, in the future.

"Car eWallet is an innovative, digital assistant in the car that allows secure and convenient payments even on the go. Moreoever, it can also perform other tasks, like opening the trunk or doors," the companies said in a statement today.

According to the companies involved, using a blockchain will prevent the need for a third-party vendor or central computing hub to process transactions and commands. The distributed nature will instead allow for a "reliable and unchangeable data record."

ZF originally announced the Car eWallet system in January, at the time promising to develop a payment system to aid the charging of electric cars. At the time, ZF planned for Car eWallet to facilitate a car-sharing system, as well as ensure more secure package delivery by having items be dropped directly into a car's trunk.

IBM will reportedly now use its blockchain infrastructure to further develop a secure system which can carry out the required tasks, as well as show authorized users information that is relevant to their vehicles and carry out transactions in real-time.

Overall, the move comes in an active time for the auto industry, which is newly exploring potential blockchain applications. In May, Toyota announced that it would try to develop a blockchain infrastructure to drive its development of "autonomous technologies," including passenger safety monitoring and fraud prevention.

Car steering wheel image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.


CoinDesk - Unknown
June Was Bitcoin’s Worst Month Ever

Plus, European crypto regulation comes into view.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
What Traders Are Saying About Bitcoin's Biggest Monthly Loss in 11 Years

Poor macroeconomic sentiment, fears of inflation and systemic risks from the crypto market pushed the cryptocurrency below 2017’s highs.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
Three Arrows Capital Files for Bankruptcy in New York Tied to British Virgin Islands Proceeding

A British Virgin Islands court ordered Three Arrows' BVI branch into liquidation earlier this week.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
Cosmos-Builder Ignite Cuts Headcount by More Than 50%, Ex-Employees Say

The reductions come amid a crypto market crash, and after the return of Ignite’s controversial ex-CEO.

CoinDesk - Unknown