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Is there a market for trusted car data?


The used-car trade is characterized by information asymmetries between buyers and sellers leading to uncertainty and distrust, thus causing market inefficiencies. Prior research has shown that blockchain offers a solution: a transparent, trustworthy and verified car history that addresses these issues in the market for ‘lemons’. Yet, whether or not there really is a market for trusted car data remains an open question. In particular, it is unclear if trusted car data increases transparency in the market for lemons and how market participants value increased transparency. Hence, through a market game with 50 participants, we explored the effects of trusted car data on the sales price of the cars, and the relative revenue of buyers and sellers. Additionally, we conducted interviews with the participants to elicit the perceived customer value. The results show that blockchain enables an increase in transparency and creates value for both buyers and sellers.

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  1. Within the cardossier architecture (Appendix 1) it is a web-app that we deployed for the experimental game. However, the core corda-platform was simulated using a central database. This is because for our experiment the data gathering and data management were not relevant. Yet, the data we offered through our cardossier App conform to those that will be provided via the real cardossier core.

  2. Throughout our study all prices were shown and calculated in CHF to make it more understandable for the Swiss study group, that we used. However, to make it more relatable for a broader public throughout the paper we have converted all prices in USD (Exchange rate as of the 4th of July, 2019).


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Correspondence to Ingrid Bauer.

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The cardossier Architecture

The figure below depicts the cardossier architecture. Cardossier Core is the blockchain-based storage and management of trusted car data. The Cardossier Dapp Store allow to develop decentralized applications which utilize the trusted car data from the core. In turn, these Dapps, are connected to external systems, such as web applications. However, in this study, we only used and focused on the effects of the cardossier as web app to support the buyers and sellers during the 2nd hand car sale.

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Bauer, I., Zavolokina, L. & Schwabe, G. Is there a market for trusted car data?. Electron Markets 30, 211–225 (2020).

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  • Blockchain
  • Market for lemons
  • Value creation
  • Data and information products
  • Data-driven business models

JEL classification

  • O33
  • O39
  • D82