In China, companies are prohibited from using cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, for payments. But innovation using the technology behind it is encouraged, and we're starting to see companies in the automotive industry start to do just that.
Chinese electric car company NIO is hiring blockchain and security software engineers based in San Jose, US, and even though it's a temporary position, it's drawing a lot of interest.
According to NIO's job description on LinkedIn, the engineer is responsible for designing, building blockchain systems, and delivering production-ready systems in the areas of blockchain and security engineering.
Candidates need to have excellent knowledge of computer science, especially distributed systems, and need to be familiar with blockchain technologies, including cryptography.
From what is known, it is unclear what NIO's specific purpose is, but it is safe to speculate that the company is exploring innovations to its user entitlement system based on blockchain technology.
Currently, NIO already has a user entitlement system that includes rewards for users who successfully refer others to purchase a car, and points for users who log into the NIO App every day.
This system is excellent and easy to use, but seems relatively ordinary compared to the company's innovations in business models that include the separation of body and battery.
NIO has always touted itself as a user-centric company, so it would make sense to innovate on user rights, and blockchain technology provides a good direction.
There is already a precedent for this in the automotive industry, although it is still in its infancy.
A month ago, CnEVPost reported that if you thought NIO was good at user operations, take another look at this Chinese counterpart of its.
IM Motors, the premium car brand created by SAIC in partnership with Pudong New Area and Alibaba, unveiled details of its user operations program in April, which combines initial coin offering (ICO), cryptocurrency mining, and user relationship maintenance.
The company calls the program the CSOP (Customer Share Option Plan), in which it puts up 4.9 percent of the equity proceeds from its founding round of RMB 10 billion investment as backing for the issuance of 300 million digital credentials known as "original stones.
These digital credentials map the asset returns and dividends corresponding to this equity, and users can participate in the mining of these digital credentials in a variety of ways and use them to pay for services or products in the future.
IM Motors allows users to exploit these digital credentials in two ways. Overall, users are in mining mode from the moment they drive the brand's cars.
While it's hard to tell how effective this operational solution combined with cryptocurrency mining will be, if it is an initial success, more car companies will undoubtedly emulate it by introducing blockchain technology into their own user management.