Jaguar Land Rover, the largest automotive manufacturer in the UK, has officially taken a major step into the cryptosphere as part of an effort to “achieve zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero congestion.” On Monday, April 29, the company announced that it is testing software that will allow drivers of its cars to earn IOTA tokens in exchange for sharing data about traffic, navigation, and road conditions.
Drivers can also earn rewards by participating in ride-sharing programs. The IOTA will be stored in “smart wallets” that are currently being developed by Jaguar; earned tokens can be used to pay for road tolls, parking, and electrical charging for electric cars.
The announcement of the partnership with Jaguar seems to have had a significant positive effect on the price of IOTA, which was up nearly 15 percent in the last 24 hours at the time of writing.
According to a Reuters report, there is not yet a timetable for when the smart wallet-equipped cars will be commercially available.
IOTA is a cryptocurrency that’s based on a unique distributed ledger network known as the ‘Tangle.’ The network is designed in such a way that transactions can be made almost instantly and with no transaction fees, features which its creators argue make it ideal for m2m (machine to machine) communication.
“Our distributed ledger technology is perfectly suited to enable machine-to-machine payments for smart charging, parking, and tolls, in addition to creating opportunities for drivers to earn their own digital currency,” said the IOTA Foundation’s Holger Köther in Jaguar’s official announcement.
To Jaguar and Beyond
Dominik Schiener, co-founder of IOTA and co-chairman of its board, told Reuters that IOTA is hoping for integration with as many vehicle manufacturers as possible.
“The smart wallet technology … can be easily adapted into all new vehicles,” he said. “IOTA wants to enable interoperability with all these different players. So there is no Jaguar coin, no BMW coin, but one universal token for this machine economy.”
Indeed, this isn’t IOTA’s first foray into the automotive industry. The IOTA Foundation partnered with the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC) to explore the creation of autonomous vehicle testbeds last year.
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Some members of the cryptosphere take IOTA’s partnership as a positive sign toward widespread adoption.
Crypto analyst Anthony Pompliano tweeted bullishly about the project:
BREAKING: Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with IOTA to enable car owners & drivers to earn cryptocurrency.
We’re talking digital wallets, tokens, and an entire ecosystem.
THE VIRUS IS SPREADING ?
— Pomp ? (@APompliano) April 28, 2019
However, not everyone is so excited about the partnership, including the Lightning Network’s Elizabeth Stark.
Exactly, the virus of critical vulnerabilities is spreading. ?
— elizabeth stark (@starkness) April 29, 2019
IOTA’s partnership with Jaguar is one of two major entries into the cryptosphere by a “mainstream” company over the course of the last several days. Late last week, news emerged that sportswear company Nike patented a plan for a non-fungible cryptocurrency known as “CryptoKicks.”
The IOTA Foundation also launched a new educational program last week.