On Tuesday, the auto-giant said it will use blockchain to monitor and automatically implement fuel efficient driving modes for a fleet of vehicles in Cologne, Germany. This is part of a wider pilot program also happening in London and Valencia, Spain.

Ford is giving a little more road to a blockchain pilot program aimed at improving fuel efficiency.

In collaboration with the City of Cologne, Ford outfitted 10 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with cellular modems that enable geofencing. As the vehicles enter low-emission zones, they will automatically switch to electric-drive.

The metadata, such as when the vehicle enters or exits a zone as well as the miles driven, will be recorded to a blockchain.

The pilot addresses the issues municipal authorities face in administering and implementing low-emissions zones by transmitting data to officials in real-time.

“Security, trust and transparency of emissions data are of paramount importance to all stakeholders in this project, and are key for our vision of cleaner air in the city”, said Gunnar Herrmann, chairman of the management board, Ford-Werke GmbH.

The pilot is part of SmartCity Cologne, a collaborative program to promote climate protection and energy transition.

On Monday, CoinDesk reported that 5 major automakers including BMW, Honda and Ford are working with the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) to implement automatic payments for tolls, parking meters and similar vehicular payments.

First-Ever SEC-Qualified Token Offering in US Raises $23 Million

Blockstack PBC, a decentralized computing network, announced that it managed to raise more than $23 million in the first-ever U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-approved token offering.

Participation from U.S. retail investors

Muneeb Ali, co-founder and CEO of Blockstack PBC wrote in a blog post on Sept. 10 that the blockchain-based startup Blockstack has raised more than $23 million in token offerings, which include its SEC-qualified token offering and its offering to investors outside the United States.

Retail investors in the U.S. were able to partake for the first time in a token offering qualified by the SEC. More than 4,500 individuals and entities participated. Investors included Union Square Ventures, Lux Capital, Recruit Holdings, Arrington Capital, Hashkey Group, Fenbushi Capital, Frontier Ventures and Spartan Group.

Ali wrote that, in addition to retail investors, attracting strategic investors from Asia was a key goal of the token offerings. He added:

“We are in discussions with international investors for an additional $5M+ which may be distributed in a separate private placement or in a follow-on SEC-qualified offering, as we have previously disclosed in our SEC filings. The goal of this additional distribution is to continue growing our community and network in Asia.”

The SEC go-ahead

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission gave blockchain-based startup Blockstack the go-ahead to run a multi-million public token offering under regulation A+.

A regulation A+ funding round is a kind of initial public offering (IPO) tailored towards startups in need of early funding, in which any member of the public can partake.

Ali, alongside co-founder Ryan Shea, reportedly spent 10 months and approximately $2 million to gain approval from the SEC in advance of their token offering.

First Singapore Bank Joins JPMorgan’s Blockchain Payments Initiative

JPMorgan’s blockchain payments platform has just onboarded its first Singapore-based bank.

With the addition of OCBC – the second-largest bank in Southeast Asia by assets – JPMorgan’s Interbank Information Network (IIN) now has around 345 banking members across the globe. Roughly 40 percent of those are from the Asia-Pacific region.

Built on Quorum,  a permissioned blockchain based on ethereum and developed in-house by JPMorgan, IIN is designed to enable member banks to “exchange information in real-time as a way to verify that a payment has been approved”, according to recent announcement from JPMorgan.

In a report on the news Friday, The Business Times cites John Hunter, global head of clearing for JPMorgan Chase, as saying:

“The intent with IIN was always to develop a meaningful ecosystem of bank users, all focused on harnessing emerging technologies such as blockchain to better address the complex cross border payments industry.”

The addition of OCBC comes just days after Deutsche Bank – the world’s biggest clearer of euro payments – joined IIN. IIN is aiming to have 400 members by the end of 2019.

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