U.S. Department of Transportation to fund research that finds crypto incentives

  • The U.S. DoT said that a blockchain-based crypto incentive program will result in a transparent distribution of funds for drivers.
  • The DoT is ready to fund this research and has suggested a pilot via a mobile application.

Over the last few years, crypto assets have found a use case across multiple industry applications. Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is working on one such incentive program.

The SBIR program has recently unveiled a raft of research areas that include investigating the use of crypto tokens in incentivizing approaches to what it calls “modality use by consumers”. This information first appeared in the pre-solicitation notice issued last week on January 6.

The premise of the research basis on the fact that the U.S. economy emerges from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the market completely opens up, the parking spaces for consumers, workers, and other drivers will become limited.

The U.S. Department of Transportation stated that the scarcity of shared parking space along with the uncertainty of finding an open space without coordination presents an interesting opportunity in influencing commuters’ decisions in real-time. The official document explains:

A novel strategy utilizing blockchain technology would provide a dynamic approach to incentivizing alternatives to driving. For instance, travelers can spend tokens to reserve a parking space or receive tokens for agreeing to use a different mode of transportation.

As spaces are reserved and become scarcer, the system may offer increasing incentives, or tokens, for travelers to choose not to reserve a space or to take a different mode, such as public transportation and other shared mobility options.

Blockchain technology could facilitate tracked, trusted payment transactions and provide verification to ensure that users can access a reserved parking space or earned incentives.

Leveraging the Power of Blockchain

The Department of Transportation also praised the transparent working of blockchain technology which will allow them to look into real-time incentives to travelers. Besides, blockchain will also help in providing secure decentralized management of tokens along with guaranteeing the credibility of data.

The DoT document continues noting that blockchain will “enable the use of novel gamification strategies amongst users as a further incentive, and facilitate the coordination and scaling of the system to multiple facilities”.

The research document currently points at an early-stage move. Also, the specific funding required for this transition isn’t yet determined. The research document calls for the production of a proof-of-concept report via a mobile application using which the incentives would be distributed.

About Author

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair for understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In his free time, he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explores his culinary skills.

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