As the world’s leaders in Davos gather to wear silly winter clothes and improve their personal futures and fortunes by way of telling us what’s good for us, the subject of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies will finally take central stage.
The ongoing decentralization of currency and money is one that many complacent institutions has dismissed, but its disruption is making the capitalist system nervous.
The recent value of its leading technologies such as bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple have all plunged recently on the likelihood of strident legislation, taxation and even outright prohibition. Expect more pressure to be exerted by bad publicity and scare stories.
In spite of this rallying opposition, life in crypto and the blockchain goes on as the revolution unfolds, not least in talent being brought into the fold, especially in the non-profit space and when it comes to matching this technology with IoT.
The Iota Foundation is a German non-profit organization headquartered in Berlin that coordinates and funds the development of the Iota ecosystem and is the first non-profit organization in Germany approved by the government focused on distributed ledger technology.
Today it has announced that the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of Volkswagen, Johann Jungwirth, is joining the Foundation’s Supervisory Board. The news follows the recent acquisition of Dr. Hongquan Jiang, Partner at Robert Robert Bosch Venture Capital to the Iota Foundation Advisory Board.
Such appointments may be self-serving announcements that those at Davos and beyond will dismiss, but they are still important.
Jungwirth has been the CDO at Volkswagen since November 2015 where he has been responsible for driving the digital transformation of Volkswagen Group’s 12 brands that include Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Buggatti, Lamborghini, and other well-known car brands.
Prior to Volkswagen, Jungwirth was Director of Mac Systems Engineering at Apple and before that was President and CEO of Mercedez-Benz Research and Development branch of North America.
The foundation says Jungwirth’s broad expertise and vision of the future of mobility means the Iota Foundation can work faster to bring the technology to market and enable new business models and applications for IoT and beyond. Further collaborations between Iota and Volkswagen will be announced over the coming weeks.
Iota, which says it is the first distributed ledger technology to go beyond a blockchain, enables machines to securely transact data and money with each other. This is the so-called stepping stone to new IoT-based applications and business models for mobility, energy, Industry 4.0 and more.
The Iota technology has already enabled payments worth billions of dollars to be transacted without fees and has been utilized for use cases including transparent value chains in logistics, secure Over-the-Air Updates and feeless micropayments for electric vehicle charging and parking.