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GM Financial, the General Motors division offering leasing, financing and lending products to GM customers and dealerships, has announced a partnership with Spring Labs blockchain start-up, raising $ 15 million last spring.

The car lender will join the Spring Founding Industry Partners program to collaborate with Spring Labs in the development of its blockchain products, the first of which should be launched in the first half of 2019.

"We came together to think that we could develop a series of use cases that would correspond to some of the [GM Financial’s] fundamental business priorities as a lender, or potentially [those of] GM as a parent company, "said Adam Jiwan, CEO of Spring Labs Forbes.

This is not GM's first foray into the blockchain: he joined Hyperledger, a group working on the development of open source technologies for businesses, which also includes IBM members JP Morgan and FedEx in late 2017.

For GM Financial's chief financial officer, Mike Kanarios, the partnership with Spring Labs was a natural fit as GM continued to dive into the blockchain. "We think they have the greatest momentum in this space," Kanarios said.

The startup is developing a protocol that will allow businesses to securely exchange and verify sensitive information, such as a customer's credit history. According to Jiwan, this could help lending institutions and other institutions to share customer identity information without compromising customer privacy, which would make it easier for anyone to identify fraudulent actors. .

Kanarios thinks that the Spring Labs protocol could help GM Financial combat identity fraud, which happens when a fraudster uses real or fake identity information to create a new identity and perform purchases. Such fraud costs GM Financial millions of dollars a year in both loss of inventory and prevention costs. A blockchain-based identity verification program could be a "better, faster, and cheaper system" than the lender's current processes.

And while synthetic identity fraud is a particularly difficult problem for GM Financial and other auto lenders because of the high cost of a lost product (an SUV bought fraudulently at a dealership might be impossible to recover , for example), according to Mr. Kanarios, a blockchain A use case like this one might suit lenders from various sectors.

However, the implications of the protocol in the automotive sector could go beyond simple loans. Jiwan imagines future use cases such as chain block registries and payment systems for shared vehicle contracts, for example.

David Treat, General Manager and Global Head of Blockchain at Accenture, she said, the use of blockchain in the automotive industry generally could range from insurance to traffic control, including urban planning, autonomous cars and artificial intelligence, making driving safer, safer and more efficient. "These three results benefit enormously from the good types of data shared," says Treat.

Like Accenture, GM is a member of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a group dedicated to exploring applications of this type. BMW, Ford and Groupe Renault are also members.

However, there are still major hurdles to overcome before the blockchain becomes the norm in all sectors: companies must find ways to implement the new technology on a massive scale, comply with regulations and preserve the confidentiality of the customers. In addition, a solution based on the blockchain does not always meet the needs of each company. But for Kanarios, the potential is too important to ignore.

"Of course, there are … challenges," he says, "but that's one of those things we wanted to get involved in to make sure we took advantage of the technology."

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Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

GM Financial, the General Motors division offering leasing, financing and lending products to GM customers and dealerships, has announced a partnership with Spring Labs blockchain start-up, raising $ 15 million last spring.

The car lender will join the Spring Founding Industry Partners program to collaborate with Spring Labs in the development of its blockchain products, the first of which should be launched in the first half of 2019.

"We came together to think that we could develop a series of use cases that would correspond to some of the [GM Financial’s] fundamental business priorities as a lender, or potentially [those of] GM as a parent company, "said Adam Forgan, CEO of Spring Labs.

This is not GM's first foray into the blockchain: he joined Hyperledger, a group working on the development of open source technologies for businesses, which also includes IBM members JP Morgan and FedEx in late 2017.

For GM Financial's chief financial officer, Mike Kanarios, the partnership with Spring Labs was a natural fit as GM continued to dive into the blockchain. "We think they have the greatest momentum in this space," Kanarios said.

The startup is developing a protocol that will allow businesses to securely exchange and verify sensitive information, such as a customer's credit history. According to Jiwan, this could help lending institutions and other institutions to share customer identity information without compromising customer privacy, which would make it easier for anyone to identify fraudulent actors. .

Kanarios thinks that the Spring Labs protocol could help GM Financial combat identity fraud, which happens when a fraudster uses real or fake identity information to create a new identity and perform purchases. Such fraud costs GM Financial millions of dollars a year in both loss of inventory and prevention costs. A blockchain-based identity verification program could be a "better, faster, and cheaper system" than the lender's current processes.

And while synthetic identity fraud is a particularly difficult problem for GM Financial and other auto lenders because of the high cost of a lost product (an SUV bought fraudulently at a dealership might be impossible to recover , for example), according to Mr. Kanarios, a blockchain A use case like this one might suit lenders from various sectors.

However, the implications of the protocol in the automotive sector could go beyond simple loans. Jiwan imagines future use cases such as chain block registries and payment systems for shared vehicle contracts, for example.

David Treat, general manager and global head of blockchain at Accenture, believes that use of the blockchain in general in the automotive industry could cover all areas, from insurance to traffic control, through town planning, autonomous cars and AI, which makes driving safer. and more effective. "These three results benefit enormously from the good types of data shared," says Treat.

Like Accenture, GM is a member of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a group dedicated to exploring applications of this type. BMW, Ford and Groupe Renault are also members.

However, there are still many obstacles to overcome before the blockchain becomes the norm in all sectors: companies must find a way to implement the new technology on a very large scale, to comply with the regulations in force and to preserve the confidentiality of the customers. In addition, a solution based on the blockchain does not always meet the needs of each company. But for Kanarios, the potential is too important to ignore.

"Of course, there are … challenges," he says, "but that's one of those things we wanted to get involved in to make sure we're taking advantage of the technology.

Be among the first to receive important information and information about crypto and blockchain with Forbes Crypto Confidential. Sign up for free now.