Pavel Romanenko

@promanenko

Four Massive-Scale Blockchain Pilots

Car trunks, tuna, smart factories and energy from the brewery

What do Porsche, Bosch, WWF and Berlin’s largest gas vendor GASAG have in common? They all launched pilot projects in collaboration with blockchain startups. Find out their project descriptions and key learnings from their projects in the article below.

1. Bait to plate

WWF & Viant.io (started in January 2017)

WWF and Viant.io (a ConsenSys company) worked together on a track & trace use case for more transparent tuna fishing.

  • Current project state: Production, live in market
  • Next project stage: Releasing transparency, traceability, tradability platforms that are more use case specific.
  • Support by WWF: WWF supported the capital investment in the project while also providing project management and technical fisheries expertise.
One of the biggest challenges to full traceability is in the time it takes to process map with multiple participants. Additionally, large incumbents are just learning how to bring transparency to their consumers as well as manage a one on one digital relationship with them.

— Key takeaway from Dragos Rizescu, Co-Founder of Viant.io

A first step to using blockchain technology would need to be the utilisation of a digital traceability platform that can capture the KDEs necessary for traceability. Second, the authenticity of data is important: Any information system is only as good as the quality of its data. Cooperation of downstream supply chain actors is an important constraint on adopting blockchain traceability.

— Key takeaways from Bubba Cook, Western and Central Pacific Tuna Programme Manager

2. Machine-as-a-Service

Bosch & zkSystems (started in January 2019)

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

zkSystems’ blockchain enables Bosch to potentially provide their customers with features such as pay-per-use and machine sharing between several stakeholders.

  • Current project state: Prototype
  • Next project stage: Presenting the prototype of the use case “Machine-as-a-Service” at Bosch Connected World and providing zkSystems’ API at Bosch ConnectedExperience Hackathon in May 2018
  • Support by Bosch: Bosch Rexroth provided the industrial Hardware, which they installed Zksystems’ client on.
Key learnings so far have been that it is important to consider different stakeholders within a large company and find ways to have them all on board. Another important point is that it is necessary to understand the customer’s context — technology alone is not enough.

— Key takeaway from Diana Rees, CEO of zkSystems

Key learnings from the project are so far that we need to work on real-world pain points and user-centric benefits. With zkSystems, our approach has been to focus on how leading edge technology can help us create real value — beyond hype.

— Key takeaway from Janette Kothe, Business Model Innovation for Bosch Rexroth

3. Energy from the brewery

GASAG & Lition (started in December 2017)

Photo by Thomas Richter on Unsplash

Berlin startup Lition launched an operating blockchain-powered energy market place in cooperation with Berlin’s main natural gas vendor GASAG. Using their platform you can buy energy from Berlin’s power plant built in a former brewery. Just German things.

  • Current project state: Live with customers and revenues from over 30 cities
  • Next project stage: Expanding in the mass market
  • Support by GASAG: Support with operations, power plants on their P2P-exchange and coworking space. As part of a potential investment, Lition is currently also supported financially.
Experimental technology needs to be thrive and tech needs to be in the focus. But at some point in time, it needs to bring tangible business value. We realized that only when we could show this people got excited.

— Key takeaway from Richard Lohwasser, CEO of Lition

New technologies are new for everyone. This uncharted territory can however only be claimed if every party takes on a broad perspective and a clear vision for the future.

— Key takeaway from Andreas Lampel, Strategy Department at GASAG

4. Accessing Porsche via blockchain

Porsche Digital & XAIN (started in August 2017)

Porsche Digital Labs tested various blockchain applications with the Berlin startup XAIN. Among other applications, they tested access to the car trunk via digital id shared via blockchain.

  • Current project state: First project closed
  • Next project stage: Moved into a new project related to AI
One of the largest challenges is to really get a strong foot in the door, as a PR project can support you with a good name, it wont help you on the business side. Biggest challenge was finding the next project after the initial POC. We would recommend very early customer interaction with a very close feedback loop!

— Key takeaway from Simon Schwerin, board member of XAIN foundation

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