Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts. Application in the Automotive Industry THIELEN, Lukas

Master's Thesis from the year 2018 in the subject Business economics - General, grade: 1,3, International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef - Bonn, language: English, abstract: The global economy is digitizing alongside the rapid developing technologies, digital value chains and process automation. Like many industries before, the automotive industry faces the challenge of disruption, driven by digitization across the value chain and changing customer expectations. A central aspect and major trend in this context is increasing connectivity and machine to machine communication. The connected vehicle is the logical next step that consumers expect from mobility as a service in the era of internet and communication. The automotive industry however struggles to adopt as many car manufacturers, also known as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), pursue their century old business models and established structures. The market environment is changing. New market entrants with technological expertise explore the mobility business and are siphoning off parts of the value chain with digitized business models. Blockchain and Smart Contracts are expected to enable new business models and automated processes on a scalable level and offer value in large network constructs.

A Blockchain is a decentralized network technology, developed to enable the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The interest in the technology has increased since its introduction in 2008 and accelerated with the reinvention of Smart Contracts. The possibility to embed self-executing, autonomous acting programs into a Blockchain solution attracted public interest and enabled first successful niche solutions. The reasons for the emerging interest in the technology are its features of providing security, data integrity or decentralization to potentially enable new business structures and models.

Recent years have witnessed a paradigm shift in the understanding of vehicles and mobility as a service in the automotive market. The old, established design approach that OEMs pursue has detrimental effect on the environment and the capacity of urban areas. Blockchain and Smart Contracts are assessed as potential enablers of the internet of things and a shared economy.

This thesis provides a detailed analysis of the automotive industry. A series of interviews with industry- and technology experts and the theoretical foundation of the literature review is then applied to design three specific application scenarios for the application of Blockchain technology and Smart Contracts in the automotive industry.
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