Daimler Joins Hyperledger Consortium

Automotive giant Daimler has become the latest company to add its name to the Hyperledger project, a consortium of companies involved in exploring and developing an open-source platform for blockchain development.

The Linux Foundation-fronted project brings together contributions from companies across a wide range of industry sectors, giving an indication of how broadly applicable blockchain technologies could be for forward-thinking companies.

Following on from American Express joining the consortium in the last few months, the move from Daimler represents another high-profile scalp for the project, as it seeks to continue to develop in this important emerging space.

Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, among others, revealed that the opportunities in blockchain were too promising to pass up, with the potential to overhaul transactional systems in their industry.

Jan Brecht, the company’s CEO, was overwhelmingly positive about the move.

“We see blockchain as a promising technology, not fully mature yet, but continuously growing. Now is the right time to get into it, build up knowledge and form a network of like-minded people to share experiences. By joining Hyperledger, we are confident to do the right step towards this direction.”

As part of the agreement, Daimler will second an IT executive to the project’s governing board, giving the company a say in shaping developments and the overall direction of the project as they plot how best to develop the technology.

For Daimler, the move represents its first move in the blockchain space. However, surprisingly the company already has exposure to bitcoin, thanks to its earlier acquisition of payment service PayCash, which it is thought fits the company’s plan to allow in-car purchases and transactions in future.

In signing up to the project, Daimler joins a number of other high-profile companies, startups and other agencies working collaboratively to develop the framework to support these blockchain products as they emerge.

The move comes at a good time for the industry, with research efforts on multiple fronts pushing firmly toward viable, commercial models.

While critical mass implementation remains perhaps months or even years away, the speed and fervour of development makes projects like Hyperledger, as well as the tech more broadly, look unstoppable.