16 Aug 2019

Linklaters in German blockchain first

In DLT-based payments, Linklaters advises Commerzbank on pilot project for machine-to-machine payments.


Linklaters provided legal advice to Commerzbank AG and its research and development unit main incubator on the first blockchain-based payment solution for machine-to-machine (M2M) payments developed by a German bank.

Legal framework

As part of the pilot project carried out by Commerzbank together with Daimler Trucks, fully automated payments were made for charging processes between an electricity charging station and a truck system. For automatic M2M payment processing, Commerzbank initially transferred euros to a block chain. The resulting e-money was then made available as a “cash on ledger” for the processing of payment transactions for electricity at e-truck charging stations. “We are delighted to have been able to provide legal support for this important step towards the marketability of the new technology,” said Dr Florian Reul, head of fintech Germany at Linklaters. Dr Reul added, “We have once again broken new ground in both the technological and the legal areas. In order to be able to fully exploit the great potential offered by block chains and smart contracts in the future, the design of secure legal framework conditions is an important success factor.”

Successful pilot

The successful pilot project has shown that it will be possible in future to handle both the charging and the subsequent payment process autonomously and without human intervention. Following the digitalisation of securities transactions, DLT-based payment structures are now also moving into focus. The newly developed solution for M2M communication can also be transferred to other sectors.