Cryp2Gem team was honoured to host bloXmove’s Founder/CEO Sophia Rödiger and Co-founder/CTO Dr Harry Behrens and get a chance to do a live interview with them in the open community forum in our Telegram Cryp2Gem chat on July 29 2021.
Many interesting and essential topics were covered during this live event, so we made a summary for all who could not attend the event or anyone who just wants to go through the content again. Enjoy the read and visit our group for further discussions.
The bloXmove’s decentralized B2B Mobility Blockchain Platform’s mission is to establish an open mobility ecosystem that empowers people to access more integrated and transparent mobility services around the world. bloXmove will seamlessly connect relevant providers in one big alliance and integrate a cooperative ecosystem. The technical solution — based on Qurum, Ethereum, Corda and decentralised digital identities (DIDs) has been developed in a test environment together with Daimler Mobility AG which assigned blockchain software license to bloXmove. A tokenized Power & Mobility energy blockchain platform that will offer the decentralised network to interconnect electric power and electric mobility is also already in development!
Want to learn more about bloXmove? Read our recently published report:
C2G: “Hello everyone! I would like to welcome and introduce bloXmove’s Founder/CEO, Sophia Rödiger & Co-founder/CTO, Dr Harry Behrens.
Great to have you at C2G! Could you briefly introduce yourselves and describe your roles in bloXmove to our audience?”
Sophia: “Sophia Rödiger is my name, I am born in Berlin, Germany — 33 years old — by the way, today is my birthday I am the CEO of bloXmove with a focus on marketing & sales, business development and partnerships
My background is in psychology, and I did a lot of research about networks, network effects and organisational systems; In the last 7 years, I worked for Daimler in different leadership positions and had the opportunity to set up Daimler’s startup hub where I scouted and invested in complementary ventures.
I already have experience as a founder and established a consultancy company a few years ago.”
Harry: “My name is Harry. I am a software engineer with a Master Diploma from the Tech University of Munich and a PhD from the University of Tokyo.
I have worked most of my life in ventures, from being a programmer, network admin, consultant, CTO etc.
Six years ago I joined Daimler Financial Services in Bejing, China.
That is where I understood the automotive, asset financing and mobility lifecycle.
With that understanding and having experimented with Blockchain since 2013/2014 I convinced Daimler Mobility to create the Daimler Mobility Blockchain Factory which I founded and lead until we took the software and spun it out into bloXmove.”
C2G: “Thank you for the introduction! I believe this is a topic that might be very interesting for our audience. You have both been working at Daimler Mobility Blockchain Factory, helped with the development of Daimler Mobility Blockchain Platform (MBP) and finally got assigned blockchain software license to bloXmove by Daimler. Can you explain how and why it came to that?”
Harry: “It was a combination of things:
1) Daimler is in a deep process of transformation and needs to focus on its core business: premium e-mobility
2) Ecosystems are very hard to develop by any player with a major brand. Reason: all other brands will refuse to join such a platform → we need a neutral venture to bring the platform to market
3) Tech and especially blockchain technology has very different investment and development cycles from corporations such as Daimler or Daimler Mobility
These factors made both sides realize that a management buyout and then a spin-off is the best way to bring what was incubated within Daimler Mobility over three years to market and to success.”
C2G: “What does this licence mean? Is bloXmove the owner of MBP now, and will you continue working on all previous pilots already engaged under Daimler Mobility? Is Daimler also invested in bloXmove in any way?”
Sophia: “Yes, we own the mobility blockchain platform. It was a management buyout — so Harry, Bernd Hanisch (our CFO) and myself bought the software as the 3 founders. We left in a friendly way, which you could read in the press release. As Harry said it was a joint strategic decision, that Daimler is not an investor; we agreed on a few joint pilots and projects — that’s more valuable for both sides. It is important to be independent in such an ecosystem approach.”
🚗 Did You Know?
Daimler Mobility AG assigned a blockchain software license to bloXmove, enabling the further development of the open mobility blockchain platform!
“We believe in the future of blockchain technology. By granting the software license, we want to make it possible for the platform to be used for other areas of application and thus to reach its full potential. I am very pleased that our successful pilot project is now being continued and further developed at bloXmove,” says Carmen Roth-Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer Daimler Mobility AG.
C2G: “Could you describe briefly what could MBP offer to mobility service providers, companies and regular passengers that are currently missing in other existing mobility infrastructure solutions?”
Harry: “The bloXmove Mobility Blockchain Platform (MBP) offers a completely decentralized way to offer mobility services. We manage access control, tickets, verification of identity, data and credentials and last but most definitely not least shared bookkeeping and accounting.
1) access control,
3) verification of identity, data and credentials,
4) last but not least shared bookkeeping and accounting,
as a “Transaction-as-a-Protocol” shared infrastructure to the participants in our ecosystem.”
C2G: “In what way do you intend to approach the shared bookkeeping & accounting?”
Harry: “There are two answers to that:
1) Hybrid, i.e. for corporations that still use traditional accounting as their general ledger and fiat currency for their settlement,
2) the pure cryptoverse.
For the “corporate” B2B customers we offer a Corda-based Distributed Ledger which acts as the shared ledger and source of consolidated truth re. liabilities.
For the pure cryptoverse, accounting is not needed anymore as all settlement is purely in cash. This however can only be possible in regions where regulation doesn’t need to prohibit this.”
C2G: “Is bloXmove software already production-ready? When can we expect to see the first pilots launched?”
Sophia: “Yes, the software is mature, as we said, we incubated and validated the software platform over the last 3 years.
Now we are focussing all resources on the developing of the ecosystem and executing the first pilots in the Netherlands and Germany, so we expect the final communication in the next months.
This pilot execution and the partner onboarding is the main task for our bloXmove team right now.”
C2G: “bloXchain will also offer a decentralised B2B Mobility-as-a-Service. Still, there are quite a few other big companies that are developing DLT-based MaaS (IBM, SONY) as well as mobility and transport alliances (MOBI, BiTA, MaaS Alliance). Do you see them as competitors or even potential future partners? Who do you mostly see as your B2B MaaS clients?”
Harry: “We will join MOBI soon and will also collaborate on that level with the many members. Note also that MOBI is a membership consortium: their revenue model relies on membership fees rather than delivering mobility as a service.
With regards to the other names you mention I do not really see them as competitors. They are either in very early stages or active in segments that are not in our scope for now. Most consortia out there are “development” or “standardization” rather than focussing on actual delivery.”
C2G: “Is this plan already in motion — to join MOBI?”
Harry: “Yes! We have actually been discussing it this week and Sophia will approach Tram soon.”
C2G: “Are you also talking with any future B2B MaaS client already?”
Harry: “We are talking to the Dutch MaaS ecosystem, which is being built up by the Ministry of the infrastructure of waterworks with the assistance of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition. Those talks are actually quite far and we hope to be able to announce a meaningful milestone before our token launch at the end of September.”
Sophia: “Flixbus, Tier and MOIA are also aware of us and interested in a joint triangle pilot, — this is our 2nd strategic approach when it comes to the go2market strategy.”
C2G Community: “These planned pilots will be learnful, could You give the community a practical example of a use case for bloXmove?”
Sophia: “One example is: if you are a company like Flixbus you have access to your bus fleets — so your journey is limited and the customer journey ends at the bus station in a city. For the last mile, it is super interesting to have integrated partners in your app which you can offer to your customers — no app change, no further registration hassle etc. This is what we plan to pilot with the companies we named above, as one example.”
🚲 Did You Know?
The Global Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Market size was valued at $76B in 2019 and is anticipated to reach $525B by 2027!
Besides transportation services, a wide array of digital and wireless services are enhancing personal Mobility.
Blockchain has been a significant segment for the rise of mobility services. The blockchain-empowered open protocol can allow mobile service users to view validated mobility service providers without knowing about them or downloading their app. Cities around the world are adopting integrated cashless payment systems and thus contributing to the MaaS market. (Emergen Research)
C2G: “MBP is leveraging the Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs), which enable verifiable, decentralised digital identity and give back the control of identity to consumers. Can you give us few examples of how will the DIDs be used in the bloXmove platform?”
Harry: “We use DID and associated cryptographic protocol to program our Identity Triangle of CCC: Company, Customer and Car (or Charging Station).
DIDs as digital identifiers are the core of being able to verify business facts and data. Any transaction is always an agreement between two parties, that need to consent (sign) on the terms and conditions of that agreement. This is very neatly expressed through digital signatures by two identified parties.
A vehicle or a charging station also has a DID. So when you receive data from these devices:
a) you know for a fact it is that device and no other which sends you the data.
b) In addition the data is tamper-proof because changing even one bit would result in the digital signature by that DID to break.
In short, all business transactions, tickets, access tokens, invoices and billing data are expressed through verified credentials (or verified presentations) based on DID.”
C2G Community: “One of the key points of bloXmove is to stop the mobility sector from aggregating and start them to collectorate. I was wondering how do most parties react to the idea of collaborating? I’m assuming it’s something they don’t hear often.”
Harry: “Two years ago, you would have been looked at as a communist or anarchist. :)”
However, people have come to realize the grave danger to commerce and sustainable business the centralized hyper aggregators pose.
If a player like UBER has all customer relationships, all the data and chan charge the operators 20–25 of REVENUE!! Then something has gone too far.
Corporations and policymakers have realized that.”
C2G Community: “Thanks for giving such a detailed answer! As following up question I was wondering many conservatives portray crypto as some sort of anarchist system. Aren’t you afraid that these sort of conservative, established (in terms of crypto) parties, politicians or media will try to delegitimize your project?”
Harry: “If we were to offer full decentralized mobility in tightly regulated markets such as Western Europe: yes.
That is why we approach it in a rather hybrid approach, which uses DID and Blockchain but expresses liabilities in fiat and rather than using tokens books liabilities. A fully decentralized protocol economy will need to be launched in markets that have the youthful power of innovation to dare to embrace these technologies. Look at what El Salvador and Honduras are doing with BTC as the official tender!”
Sophia: “Yes, we believe that the time of strong aggregation platforms will come to an end. Or at least, will change.”
Harry: “Decentralized platforms are a very powerful mechanism to combine platform economics, network effects with a way to keep companies in control of their business by leaving the customer and billing relationship in their hand! That is why we like to call ourselves the “Star Alliance for Mobility”!”
Sophia: “Perfect analogy: because it makes clear again — that we are not the app in the front end. We do not offer the end-user journey (passenger journey), we make the life of the mobility providers easier.”
🙇 Did You Know?
The importance of transportation and traffic management systems to society is underscored by Goal 11 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which recognizes the need for more sustainable cities, including the need for improved public transportation options. Subsequently, the increased attention to transportation and mobility has stimulated the emergence of new sustainable transportation concepts such as Mobility as a Service, where different types of mobility modes are integrated into a single service. This concept includes, for example, ride-sharing, public transportation, and ride-hailing services such as Uber. However, these offerings seem to function as isolated services that do not offer platform interoperability. For example, public transportation systems in cities are notoriously highly isolated.
Decentralized identity management system that can eliminate the need to use multiple travel cards when people travel with several transportation providers across multiple jurisdictions.
Through self-sovereign identity-embedded principles, users could simply port their data to the next-best solution without leaving the underlying system architecture. A self-sovereign identity-based solution for public transportation is therefore seamlessly compatible with any other type of service that builds on W3C identity standards. The proposed system design acts as a first step towards implementing decentralized identity management in public transportation. (Blockchain-Enabled Decentralized Identity Management: The Case of Self-Sovereign Identity in Public Transportation)
C2G: “bloXmove will be tokenised with BLXM utility token. How is the BLXM used within the bloXmove ecosystem — more precisely, how does it connect the MBP and Power & Mobility? Is the end goal for BLXM to power the whole ecosystem or will its use case be limited to the energy platform?”
Harry: “Very good question! BLXM will:
a) fuel the Power & Mobility scenario, where electric vehicles act as rolling battery buffers for spiked in renewable energy generation,
b) BLXM is also the token for truly decentralized mobility.
By that, I mean markets where our customers are not companies with accounting systems and fiat currencies.
Rather we are targetting the “leapfrog” scenario, e.g. in Kenia, Cambodia, Honduras or Nigeria, where we provide all aspects of mobility and access control purely as a protocol, rather than a corporate service. In that case, all transactions are fueled by BLXM. Remember: mobile banking was invented in Kenia in such a leap-frogging step (M-PESA).”
C2G: “One of the essential mobility segments is ticketing which is also included in the bloXmove’s decentralised mobility infrastructure. How do you plan on finding the best solution for service providers and passengers? Is there any connection between tickets, DIDs, NFTs and the BLXM tokens that will be used for your platform?”
Harry: “That is a very knowledgeable and educated question. Yes, indeed there are strong connections. This being a complex topic I will simplify it a bit: NFT and DIDs are very similar in that they provide a unique identity for objects which can be anchored on a blockchain. A DID is slightly more “shallow” in sense of software capabilities.
In turn, DIDs are portable across chains as they are agnostic to layer-1 technologies. However, a DID can be instantiated as an NFT for execution purposes and vice versa.
Cars, people, companies, tickets etc. are all subjects and objects which can be assigned a DID. Verification of credentials then assures trusted and verified statements about these subjects. As you approach tokenisation, collateralisation or shared ownership scenarios for assets a vehicle will not only have a DID tie to its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), but will also have a digital twin expressed as an NFT. This lends itself to trade, finance and collateralization.”
C2G: “And that can be used as a ticketing solution that is really chain agnostic right?”
Harry: “Indeed: we are working with Ontology on precisely such a “TicketMaster” solution.”
C2G: “That sounds great. To my knowledge there is only one project currently leveraging NFT for ticketing — GET Protocol — but they are not focusing on mobility but events.”
C2G: “Simple QR codes can be used on an end-user side who is connected to NFTs/DIDs?
Harry: “QR codes either directly express the DID or provide the deep-link to the endpoint where the credential verification is triggered, depends on the context.
As for NFTs, yes: after all an NFT is nothing but a “token with a serial number” and that serial number can easily be expressed in a QR code containing the network identifier and that serial number.”
🗣 Did You Know?
Decentralized identifiers (DIDs) are a new type of identifier that enables verifiable, decentralized digital identity. A DID refer to any subject (e.g., a person, organization, thing, data model, abstract entity, etc.) as determined by the controller of the DID. In contrast to typical, federated identifiers, DIDs have been designed so that they may be decoupled from centralized registries, identity providers, and certificate authorities.
bloXmove is leveraging the Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) that enable verifiable, decentralised digital identity, are interoperable and allow the passing of DID-based signatures and verified credentials between one Blockchain and the other. Leveraging the capabilities DID and the associated cryptographic verification protocols offer, we can ensure that each party needs to undergo onboarding and identity checks at once. This applies to users and companies but also the devices within the network. Access to services is verified automatically.
C2G: “If we go back to the energy use case. Power & Mobility energy platform will connect electric power and electric mobility and support carbon-free mobility. Who is the target clientele for this platform? How are MBP and Power & Mobility related?”
Sophia: “The technology and platform are almost the same, but instead of different mobility providers, we connect the electric vehicles with the green energy side — means with energy stations, wind parks, solar panels. Vehicle to grid (V2G) is the buzzword that is often used.
Our customers are big fleet providers with electric cars as well as energy/grid providers; together with the green energy provider, like 50hertz and the Energy Web Foundation, we will increase the flexibility of renewable energy because the problem is here. You collect tons of energy when the sun is shining, or the wind is blowing, and then it is very cost intense to reduce the energy. Flexibility can be generated in order to connect more and more electric devices which act like little storage.
Again, we are the infrastructure provider in this case together with the Energy Web Foundation.”
C2G: “Are you planning on joining the Energy Web Foundation consortium?”
Harry: “Yes. We have approached the topic a few times. No specific timeline, but sooner or later it’s bound to happen. We will first finish the pilot we are both working on with elia.network and 50Hertz.”
Sophia: “Here is a good video link to one of Harry’s talks at FFCON21 this year — if you want to hear more about the energy case.”
C2G: “Do you already have any other pilots in the pipeline for Power & Mobility? Apart from the one with Energy Web.”
Harry: “In the pipeline yes. Disclosable at this point: not yet.”
C2G: “MBP is currently built on Quorum. Do you plan to migrate to another blockchain in the future?”
Harry: “Indeed. We had originally hosted on evan.network (the company recently acquired by Blockchains LLC). In order to stay portable, we set up a parallel infrastructure on Quorum.
When it comes to mainnet down the road, we foresee a binary main net structure:
1) Moonbeam on Polkadot (so still EVM) bit on the Polkadot ecosystem,
2) Ontology — as we strongly believe in their approach to natively marry DID with blockchain.
Quorum is essentially our development and stage environment.”
C2G: “So the future mainnet with binary structure will be powered with a new native token?”
Harry: “Yes and no: the tokens we will launch in September will be ERC20 tokens on Ethereum. Once we launch our Moonbeam mainnet those ERC20 tokens can be exchanged for tokens on Moonbeam. Ontology will follow a separate path.”
C2G: “How come you are leaning towards building on Moonbeam?”
Harry: “Two trains of thought:
1) ecosystem reach,
2) ease of migration.
Ethereum is currently not viable, because of its ridiculously high transaction fees. Mobility transactions are between 0.5 to 15 USD each. We would pay more gas on Ethereum than we would get revenue.”
C2G Community: “I read that you are experienced when it comes to networks and network effects. How was your approach here?”
Harry: “Network effects are vital in building up platforms and platform economics. Because in a service ecosystem users will ultimately converge to the marketplace where they can get all the required services on one stop. The very same reason why all villages have a central marketplace where once a week you can buy all your required goods.
Now in building up such a platform you are always facing the proverbial hockey curve: from the dry “chicken and egg, hard uphill traction” to rapid, self-replicating growth to critical mass and having won the game. The beauty of B2B supply-side aggregation is that critical mass is relative: when you have 10% of either side of the market on your platform you become a contender and users from the other side of that market start joining which reinforces supplier incentives to also join. And if you look at all of e.g. Germany’s mobility operators: there are less than 1000 companies covering more than 80% of the market. So in terms of numbers, it is quite doable. Our background and pedigree in Daimler greatly assist us here: we are well networked, trusted, speak the language and most of all we are not UBER nor Amazon.
The collaborative approach “start collaborating — stop aggregating” rationale with the emphasis on empowering participants of the ecosystem while they keep sovereign control over their customers is key.”
Sophia: “One interesting network effect is the chicken-egg problem: how to increase interest and attract the first players in your network. The second interesting effect is about trust, especially in such a tech topic with lots of myths behind it. And a third one is FOMO — fear of missing out — which we hope will generate very soon. These are a few topics related to network research that we consider in our go-to-market strategy.”
C2G Community: “Besides the companies you already have mentioned, do you also have strong and supportive partners in the crypto space to help you with your goal? Have you been approached or have you approached any of the big names like Paradigm, a16z, Coatue Management and so on who strategically and technically help ambitious projects? I also see you are in the Fetch telegram who were incubated by OV afaik. Any relations there?”
Sophia: “Yes sure, Master Ventures is one, Squares Capital, Defiants, a brand builder team — we set up a strong task force for marketing in the crypto space and also advisory, but for sure whenever you have good contacts, we are happy to meet them.”
Harry: “As well as Ontology, Energy Web Foundation and the Dutch Blockchain Coalition on the tech layer.”
C2G Community: “Thanks for the explanation! Could you please also elaborate on why you chose your own token model while you also mentioned a central market model? One could see something like Ethereum or Polkadot as a central market with bridges to other markets. And your protocol could accrue fees in a stablecoin and be more complementary to other protocols and be less worried about liquidity issues. If ran on top of an optimistic rollup or zkstark you’d have very low to no almost 0 platform fees. But why did you choose your own token? Which advantages does it give you, which using a stablecoin wouldn’t give you for your use case?”
Harry: “Having your own token puts the foundation that issues these tokens in a position where a value being accrued can be used to support and develop the technology and goals of the community. It also allows you to connect to your community in a much more direct and mutually beneficial way.
On optimistic: I will believe it when I see it.”
⛓Did You Know?
Spherity, one of the bloXmove’s partners and advisors, is a German decentralised digital identity software provider, bringing secure identities to enterprises, machines, products, data and even algorithms. Spherity’s digital identity management software based on W3C DIDs and verifiable credentials represent one of the key capabilities of the Mobility Blockchain Platform.
Spherity leads the Europen project GAIA-X to accelerate the Energy Transition in Europe and is helping to build a secure data space for the energy industry that enables secure and sovereign data use and establishes a foundation for innovative business models. Spheritiy is also collaborating with dena, OLI, KILT and Energy Web Foundation on the development of machine identity ledgers for decentralized energy systems.
C2G: “bloXmove is also working with Spherity — they are also on your advisory board. How will you collaborate with them?”
Harry: “Spherity is very important in how we approach the DID design in our platform. In addition, Carsten comes from an energy background so they are also very good partners in the Power meets Mobility field.”
C2G: “Is there anything else that you would like to share with us that was not addressed yet? Some concluding thoughts?”
Harry: “These are exciting times and I believe bloXmove is a “first” in many ways. Help us sharpen the proposition and bring this to the field.
The goal is surely to create a future where commerce and business can be conducted at the protocol level, rather than by incumbents who hide behind entry barriers build-out of regulatory and other impediments.
It is that type of protocol: raw crypto but with the application of real-world commerce which we are building with BLXM!”
Sophia: “Often we say, we democratize mobility and develop a new way of cooperation. I am convinced it is the right time…”
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You can reach out to any of us at the below links!