California Chooses Tezos Blockchain to Record Vehicle Titles
The California Department of Motor Vehicles does not want to be seen as a technical relic, which is why it is unveiling its native, state-of-the-art NFT initiative to digitize car titles. Ajay Gupta, chief digital officer of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, believes that putting documents on a private Tezos blockchain would boost productivity and transparency while cutting costs. In a discussion with Fortune, Gupta stated that the agency planned to copy the DMV’s property record onto its blockchain within three months, followed by consumer-facing apps. A database prototype has already been evaluated.
Gupta said that the DMV views NFT automobile titles as a method to update its procedures. It intends to utilize its own Tezos chain to facilitate title transfers between persons and jurisdictions once it is completely developed and mobile applications are created to serve as wallets for holding NFT titles.
Gupta said that the DMV’s attitude of trailing behind must alter.
Oxhead Alpha’s media release announcing an effective proof-of-concept (poc) blockchain and the article contain no additional information about the project beyond the fact that it runs on a personal proof-of-stake Tezos example. The California DMV collaborated with Oxhead Alpha to create its private blockchain. There is much discussion of “public good,” “decreased burden,” and “institutional-level security,” but specifics are scant. The Register has attempted to get information from Oxhead Alpha, but they have not replied to our inquiries.
The California DMV responded, but only to confirm that preparations are in place to perform title transfers utilizing blockchain technology in stages over the upcoming months.
“On a private blockchain framework, Phase I/Foundational produces a production-ready, installed ghost ledger of ownership. When step III is finished, the peer-to-peer (p2p) title transfer procedure will be simplified and prepared for a public trial “We were informed by the California DMV, with no indication of what Phase II includes.
“The utilization of blockchain will enable a vehicle’s ownership to be a safe digital asset (a non-fungible token) that can be stored in a DMV digital wallet. This digital asset removes the requirement for a physical deed and offers irrefutable proof of ownership.”
How well the DMV’s blockchain network is being housed, how so many nodes it has, and who is conducting the verification are other crucial details that are absent. Andrew Smith, the president of Oxhead Alpha, stated that “the DMV chain is now operating and operating DMV validator nodes,” but this doesn’t tell us anything about who is managing the distributed database.
If the DMV operates the system fully internally, the need of a blockchain system becomes questionable. Couldn’t titles be monitored just as effectively – and with less possibility for, well, everything that occurs in the crypto realm – by using a centralized database?
If the nodes are not managed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the matter turns into one of security. Who is responsible for data validation, and how safe is the overall system? There is a great deal of crucial data in a car title database, yet blockchain technology is riddled with faults. Interstate ownership swaps are listed by the DMV and Oxhead Alpha as being one of the application cases. In California, defective vehicles designated as “lemons” have notations written on their titles, however they may be moved outside of the state, registered, and then returned to California to eliminate that classification.
This problem would likely be addressed with lasting digital ownership, but there is no requirement to use the blockchain: National Motor Vehicle Title Information System is a statewide title monitoring system already in existence. According to its homepage, the NMVTIS was created to “secure customers from theft and dangerous automobiles and prevent the resale of stolen vehicles,” similar to what California’s blockchain-based system will achieve. Moreover, since California is a trailblazer, there is no web of other blockchain title registries to link to, therefore it is still unknown how interstate transactions will operate.
Notably, Tezos, the blockchain used for the initiative, is also not without criticism. Tezos was initially envisioned as a smart contract blockchain similar to Ethereum; however, when it released in 2017, its primary distinction was that it utilized proof-of-stake, which is significantly lower energy-consuming than the proof-of-work (pow) approach employed by Bitcoin and, till lately, Ethereum.
Having lost this selling feature, Tezos seems to be the second-best NFT blockchain to Ethereum. It has a difficult financial history, such as the loss of class-action litigation that required it to settle $25 million for marketing unlicensed securities during its initial coin sale.
As per Smith of Oxhead, the California DMV is now utilizing “paper-based technologies from the 18th century to combat 21st-century transactional crime.” In this instance, it is unclear if a blockchain is an answer; at minimum, not without additional data.