Today a joint venture was announced between China’s Geely and Concordium to develop blockchain business models and applications for the automotive and other business sectors. Apart from its own auto brand, Geely has owned Volvo since 2010, its owner Li Shufu is the largest shareholder in Daimler (9.7%), and it has a joint venture with Mercedes for its smart car brand. It also has an electric car joint venture with Baidu and owns Lotus and other brands.
The CEO of Concordium is also the deputy chairperson of Volvo, which Geely owns. We were curious about who funded the Swiss Concordium Foundation but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
The joint venture company is expected to be incorporated this year subject to regulatory approvals and with Geely owning an 80% stake. Another Geely company, China’s Genius & Guru, which invests in fintechs and financial institutions, will partner to build out use cases in China.
Daniel Donghui Li, CEO of Zhejiang Geely Holdings, said the aim is to build an ecosystem “to reduce the cost of trust and provide companies with access to a platform with the tools they need to develop blockchain-based applications together and grow in the ‘Internet of Value’”.
Concordium is getting ready to launch its public permissionless blockchain in the second quarter of this year. It positions itself as an enterprise-friendly blockchain. Although it’s permissionless, it incorporates an identity layer, and all participants, whether organizations or individuals, will have an identity. While transactions can remain private, requests from government authorities will result in identities being revealed.
It also claims to offer transparency but privacy. It uses Zero-Knowledge Proof cryptography to enable data to be encrypted and only the need to know aspects to be revealed. Other features include Proof of Stake, final transactions, and its own coin, the GTU.
The technology was developed in Denmark after it set up the Concordium Blockchain Research Center at Aarhus University’s Department of Computer Science. Concordium’s CTO is Torben Pryds Pedersen, the cryptographer know for his Pedersen commitments.
Meanwhile, Volvo has been involved in blockchain projects, but mainly for traceability of ethically sourced minerals. Daimler has a broader range of blockchain initiatives. One of the most novel is a collaboration with Boerse Stuttgart to explore using public tokens to fund industrial machinery.