Weekly Report – Week 11
It’s been a debate for a long time. Hard to say who is pushing the agenda, but the headlines are very controversial at times. One day, Bitcoin mining and network operating uses more power than a whole country. The next day it’s better (from an environmental standpoint) than printing traditional paper money or mining actual gold. Then again, solar and other renewable energy sources can be used to make cryptocurrency mining more green… Personally I’m waiting for the “Blockchain 2.0” where we can reach consensus without wasting “any” resources. P2P digital currency and/or distributed ledger technology has nowhere near reached its full potential yet, so it’s a bit early to choose sides. With that said, it doesn’t hurt to look behind the curtains and try to understand what is going on. Below is an inconclusive report touching the subject of Bitcoin mining, and like the title says, more research is needed!
Innovations Of Interest
Every week there are numerous projects trying to change the landscape in the energy and sustainability sector. We recently talked about IKEA’s SolarVille. On this list that I’m referring to here, there are another 5 potential and ambitious innovations being developed.
German logistics giant DB Schenker is testing a fully autonomous and electric truck on the roads in Sweden. 200kWh battery pack with a 200km range on this 26-tonne vehicle. Other companies (Volvo e.g.) are working on the same concepts and I believe this driverless ecosystem will emerge sooner than expected.
Advertising is all too common in major cities. Another issue in the same cities is air pollution. Combine the two and you get cylindrical air purifiers with more than advertising up the sleeve. The partnership between KineticX and Pluvo will be tested in London over the coming months and most likely in other areas by the end of the year.
Food waste is a problem and it needs oversight as much as it needs innovation. There are many ways to tackle the issues and many companies have already started to change their ways regarding this. After all, this waste of food results in waste of money as well, for everyone involved. Supermarket giant Tesco has signed a deal showing that it doesn’t really matter how you approach the food waste, but more about the many ways of doing it. Hyke Gin is a result of surplus supermarket grapes. Yes, we are talking about an alcoholic beverage here, but you should get the point and the potential of it all. Cheers to that!
Ok, back to something blockchain related. Actually a pretty smart solution for a common problem: recycling of plastic bottles. Many places lack the systems or machines in place to deal with this. Environmental blockchain startup Cryptocycle solves this by placing a code on the bottles and on the recycling bins, and then an app to scan it all with a smartphone. Data is stored on a digital ledger and rewards can be paid out in digital money or vouchers. Cryptocycle is currently crowdfunding to launch a real-world trial of the system.
The last one on this list is the result of 10 years of research: a solar panel sized (and covered) container, creating hydrogen out of thin air. Photovoltaics to capture light. Zirconium and acid structures to capture water vapor. These two elements combined with a chemical reaction creates hydrogen. Neat. For a more complete story on all of the above, please click here.
Blockchain Patents Growing
As the link above states, India is gaining traction in the global blockchain race. A global survey revealed a record surge in patent approvals in 2018 with China leading the race. The US is closely behind, followed by South Korea, Australia, Canada and India. Patents are also filed by major companies such as Microsoft, IBM Intel and MasterCard. The areas of interest are basically all over the place including utilities, healthcare, payments, government, agriculture and more.
Another article touching the subject of India and blockchain is mentioning the endless possibilities this nascent technology could have, especially in developing countries. Poverty, corruption, microtransactions, agriculture, supply chain management and renewable energy are some of the key areas where blockchain technology could be applied. I say “could be applied”, although it most likely should be applied, and on a massive scale. This will take time though, and the Indian government is slowly adjusting, just as many other countries and governments around the world (source).
As usual, I throw in a couple of quick links down here if you’re still looking for more updates. Wales is planning to go 100% Green by 2035 (source), Thai Petroleum Company BCP Tests Blockchain-Based Microgrid Platform For Its Fuel Station And Shopping Mall (source), Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd (Japan, Tokyo) on April 1 will release a house that is resistant to primary and secondary disasters equipped with three kinds of power sources (source) and an energy storage system has been installed at the largest single-site solar park in the world (source). Ok, one more since it’s such a bold statement…
That’s it for now. For the next report I’ll try to add more about the energy related blockchain projects. It’s been quiet for a while, mostly due to the bear market and “tulip mania”, but the conditions are maturing and the wheat is getting separated from the chaff. Hasta la vista!