Clutch, second gear and full throttle: BMW is on its way to crypto. With patents for NFTs and Metaverse, the German automaker is beginning to solidify its brand digitally. In addition, the public company has been using blockchain technology since 2019 and wants to improve the transparency of vehicle history. Meanwhile, the competition is also accelerating: BMW shares the Web3 circuit with Hyundai, Ford, Alfa Romeo and local rival Mercedes-Benz.
Exit Web3: BMW shuts down. In the United States, the German automaker filed NFT and Metaverse patents to protect its own brand. Concretely, the registrations relate to downloadable multimedia files, but also to virtual clothes authenticated by “non-fungible tokens”. Additionally, BMW had its logo protected in the virtual space.
The automaker had already experimented with its own NFT collection in the OpenSea market. Patent applications now indicate an additional commitment.
Fantasy world instead of fast cars
Contrary to expectations, however, fast cars are not the focus of the BMW “JOYTOPIA” metaverse. On the contrary, the virtually accessible world is reminiscent of the movie “Alice in Wonderland”. For example, there are modified foxes, giant ears and other fantastic creatures. BMW is thus betting on a world in which users should “escape from everyday life”. “JOYTOPIA playfully tells the story of a future in which the principle of circularity is realized. You immerse yourself in an interactive and playful digital environment and experience first-hand how the BMW Group is pushing the issue of sustainability a step further far.
Created specifically for the IAA 2021 Auto Show in Munich, Hollywood icon Christopher Waltz and multi-award-winning music group Coldplay performed in the BMW Metaverse. The project has since been put on hiatus, but would be “back soon”, according to BMW.
Blockchain under the hood
Under the motto “Verify Car”, BMW has been working with VeChain on the so-called digital vehicle passport since 2019. The ID aims to create more transparency in the vehicle history and thus prevent meter fraud for example . The cars will be equipped with SIM cards which will automatically transmit data to the VeChain blockchain. According to the vision, every air filter or battery change, every accident and finally every customer service must be saved thanks to the DLT. While each person working on a car has so far limited himself to his own fragmentary knowledge, in the future it will be possible to rely on a complete database. Dr. Andre Luckow, Head of DLT Technologies at BMW Group, is confident:
We cannot yet predict what possibilities the blockchain will offer us in the future.
Dr Andre Luckov
So far, however, the digital vehicle ID card is still in the pilot phase. It remains to be seen when consumers will be able to access DLT-enabled automotive apps.
Contest on the Web3
The competition isn’t sleeping either. Alongside Hyundai and the American giant Ford, Mercedes-Benz has filed patents for NFTs and the Metaverse. Alfa Romeo goes even further. In the next “Tonale” model, the Italian automaker is installing an NFT function to combat speedometer fraud.
We have already told you in the September issue of BTC-ECHO magazine how Volkswagen deals with blockchain technology. In any case, the race for Web3 has been on for a long time.
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