A recent BBC article released news that auto thefts in the U.K. have risen 30% in the last three years. The researchers stated that auto thieves are become more skilled, using new technology to hack security systems. London was reported as the worst place for auto theft, haven risen 189% in recent years, and officials purported that more defense against the sale of stolen cars is needed as a deterrent to thieves when modern security systems are failing /1/.
Fighting technology with better technology
Greater defence against the sale of stolen cars is, however, somewhat vague. If existing laws are not deterring criminals, it is unlikely that tougher laws will act as a problem-solver. Perhaps the better solution is to fight technology with better technology that discourages theft by increasing the time and effort required to steal, and making it nearly impossible to re-sell stolen cars.
Blockchain makes vehicles traceable
Blockchain technology could act as a major deterrent to car thieves by offering verifiable and unchangeable vehicle titles. Data regarding vehicles including ownership, insurance events, technical details, and more, could be written in to a Blockchain making the entire history of a vehicle traceable. This protects data important to the buyer and prevents thieves from being able to forge data belonging to the title /2/.
Traceability a deterrent to criminals
Blockchain is a decentralised database that can not be hacked due to elaborate encryption and the distributed nature. Vehicle identification number, engine number, and body number could be logged in the Blockchain, preventing the re-sale of the vehicle and its parts. Buyers would be able to access this data and track the parts’ whereabouts, making abnormalities or missing information very apparent. Odometer data can also be saved in a Blockchain, making it impossible to manipulate the mileage on a car.