The New Economy of Movement

Chris Ballinger, Founder & CEO, MOBI (Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative) joins Grayson Brulte on The Road To Autonomy Podcast to discuss the new economy of movement.

The conversation begins with Chris discussing international economics, monetary economics, and private money.

Marginalism. The idea that prices are determined on the margin. That it is the margin that matters. It’s the marginal transaction that determines the cost, the opportunity, the opportunity cost.

– Chris Ballinger

With over 28 years of experience in the finance industry, Chris shares his thoughts on digital currency and the potential impact of regulation on digital currencies.

Touching on Facebook’s Libra digital currency, Chris explains why Government policy and Government opposition can change the path and plans of an organization as large as Facebook. Breaking this down further, Chris lays out the reasons why Government’s around the world opposed the new digital currency.

The plan was to hold reserves in relativity safe sovereign and bank assets. Well, the problem is if you are running a reserve and your revenue source is carried on that reserve, then there is a strong temptation to stretch a little bit, to take a little more risk to increase the return.

That works out great in most environments, but as soon as you have a shock, then the additional risk, the additional leverage that has been put in can cause problems.

If you have a breakdown or a sudden failure of trust in a global world currently that is out of Government control, then you have a real problem.

– Chris Ballinger

With the crypto market becoming extremely heated, Grayson asks Chris about financial bubbles and what patterns he saw during his years on trading floors. After Chris’ insight, Grayson asks how those patterns might apply to today’s low-rate environment.

The underlying technology of cryptocurrency is blockchain. With a strong foundation laid in financial markets, Grayson shifts the conversation to discuss what is possible when applying blockchain to mobility.

You can link the vehicle’s digital twin (decentralized digital identifier) to location. If you can link location and the vehicle’s trusted identity, then you can create a trusted trip.

If you can create a trusted trip, you can pay as you go for things. You can do micro-tolling, you can do road usage charge, you can do usage-based insurance, there are all kinds of things that now become possible.

– Chris Ballinger

Grayson expands the conversation into in-vehicle commerce and what is possible when the vehicle has a trusted identity. Chris discusses the digital VIN and the role it will play in the future of digital commerce.

A digital VIN in the future will be a “living birth certificate” which helps to eliminate fraud such as lemons and increase trust in the chain of custody.

[With blockchain] you can trace the chain of custody of data back to the original source.

– Chris Ballinger

Telematics combined with a digital VIN opens the opportunity to fund infrastructure development in new ways such as micro-tolling. Doing this digitally will save tax-payers money as Governments will not have to build-out physical tolling infrastructure. This is all possible with an in-vehicle digital wallet.

With everything being connected and tracked, privacy concerns are being raised by consumers. Chris explains why the data belongs to the customer and what is being done to protect consumer privacy using mobility services with blockchain.

On March 8, 2021, The MOBI Connected Mobility Data Marketplace (CMDM) Working Group released standards to enable a marketplace that could securely commodify mobility data and ensure data privacy for mobility users.

Standards will play a large role in the future of mobility. Standards will enable the future of autonomy. Grayson asks Chris if standards are needed to enable secure in-vehicle commerce.

Money is a standard. Driving on the left or right side of the road in different countries in a standard.

– Chris Ballinger

Indeed they are needed. Chris goes onto explain coordinated autonomy and why standards are needed to make this a reality.

Wrapping up the conversation, Grayson and Chris discuss digital IDs and how they will enable in-vehicle commerce. Chris explains how digital IDs can enable autonomous organizations. These organizations will be autonomous vehicles that will be able to conduct commerce autonomously on the edge and buy other less profitable autonomous vehicles.

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Recorded on Friday, March 5, 2021.