It’s no secret that the auto industry is facing major changes as the world becomes more connected. Many of these changes will be based on emerging new technologies and innovations in other industries and at the macro level.
One such type of innovation could come in the form of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency isn’t seen much in the car industry, but we believe it would enable a wide range of potential benefits for drivers across the entire driving experience. From buying gas to paying tolls or even registering and financing your next new car, crypto really could pave the path to some major breakthroughs in the auto industry.
Crypto in the car could be a disruptor for the auto industry
Cryptocurrency has already made waves and deep disruptions in other industries, where it was first introduced back in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto with Bitcoin. In this article we will discuss the following ways crypto could change driving in the future, for the better:
1) Paying for services in real time. Tolls could be paid in real-time, from the car or driver’s wallet with no per-registration required and across states! Fuel, or for EVs, electricity, could also be paid for fully electronically, with no need for a credit card or cash at the pump (truly contact and friction-less payment). Some designs even exist that require no interaction from a person, where a charger cable automatically hooks into the charge port, or even a wireless charging pad you just drive over!
For self-driving and ride-sharing, users could pay for their ride with cryptocurrency, and pay the car directly, requiring no intermediary.
2) Logging fines or validating access: Not the most glamorous use-case, but would take the sting out of parking fees or violations by being much simpler than the current setup of waiting for gates, lines of cars entering or exiting garages or dealing with humans in booths handling cash and credit card payments. And of course, getting a parking ticket on your windshield! Also, no more losing parking slips and paying the maximum rate! Not glamorous, but an improvement many would agree with.
Cryptocurrency uses something called a distributed ledger, which is a publicly verifiable database / list of transactions. This ledger could be used to verify payment for parking spots/permits, log parking violations and verify access to roads or gated facilities. The possibilities are quite endless in this regard.
3) In-car entertainment services: most cars already come with an infotainment system, but this could be a way to get additional premium services such as streaming movies or music. Live, real-time concerts could also be another possibility of a potential “paid” offering that is not currently available in cars.
Cryptocurrency also enables “micropayments” – which is a large amount of small payments. This could be very useful for tipping live performances in the car with a simple tap of a button.
The idea of paying for items in your car is not new, nor is the use of cryptocurrency for payment. But, having payments made automatically, and tied to location or your vehicle, and it’s easy to start to see the real tangible benefits for drivers.
What is V2X?
How will this work? Vehicle to X (vehicle to vehicle or vehicle to anything) refers to the wireless communication of data between cars, buildings and other infrastructure. Using cellular data and in the future 5G, (LTE has been available in many vehicles for many years now), this will be required for crypto to be used in a vehicle, as an internet connection is required to send and receive crypto transactions.
Paying for tolls or parking with cryptocurrency will be drastically easier than using cash or credit cards as there would be no need to find a parking attendant or machine to input information, just plug-in and go. For toll roads, the car simply needs to know it’s entering a tolled access road and the payment would be sent immediately and settled in real time.
Can I buy a car with bitcoin?
Financing, leasing or car subscriptions with crypto
Buying a car with bitcoin has certainly been done, but it’s not very common yet. Most crypto users “cash” out our use stablecoins to complete the purchase. We have yet to see a major manufacturer accept bitcoin on their website, but we think we will likely see this soon?
Crypto would be perfect for remotely unlocking vehicles on a subscription basis. Using your smartphone, make a payment and immediately get a digital key to access a car for as long as you need.
So, crypto in the car might not be as far fetched as originally thought. Parking booths, gates and parking tickets may be just a thing of the past and car subscriptions services will potentially explode in popularity with their ease of access.