The Many Ways Blockchain Can Fix Environmental Issues

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The blockchain technology is not just limited to the financial industry, logistics, and the supply chain, it can also be used to save the planet one block(chain) at a time. In a report made by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), there are more than 65 ways that blockchain can help in repairing nature and solve the planet’s environmental issues.

The report that was released at the Global Climate Action Summit in California identified more than 65 existing and emerging blockchain use-cases for the environment. This is still low since developers, investors, and governments are focused on tapping fintech and supply chain industries.

Aside from the 65+ existing and emerging blockchain use-cases, it also identified eight “game changers” that will aid in solving environmental challenges.

  1. “See-through” Supply Chains – This kind of “game changer” will offer the full traceability of products from source to store. This will optimize supply and demand management.
    • Example Use Case: It can be used to track a fish from “bait to plate”.
    • According to the report, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is robbing the government and legitimate fishers of up to $23 billion per year. This is in addition to the over-exploitation of the world’s fish stocks with large industrial ships combing the world’s oceans.
  2. Decentralized and Sustainable Resource Management – This will decentralize the management of sustainable resources like electricity and water. By decentralizing it, it can improve peer-to-peer transactions, dynamic pricing and balance the supply and demand.
    • Example Use Case: It can be used to collect data from the water such as its quality and quantity. It can also be used to spot illegal extraction or water tampering.
  3. Raising the Trillions – New sources of Sustainable Finance – Using the blockchain technology, new investors can be tapped.
    • Example Use Case: Using the technology to crowdsource funds from a large number of diverse investors.
    • There is an ongoing project called Sun Exchange that will finance solar projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
  4. Incentivizing Circular Economies – This will tap on the blockchain technology to incentivize or reward people/companies who are doing sustainable actions such as recycling, collecting the ocean plastic, etc.
    • Example Use Case: A person or a company will get a “cryptocurrency token” that can be traded to fiat or another token or other goods for every sustainable action.
    • According to the report, currently, the world is consuming 90 billion tons of resources and is expected to double in 2050. This will also mean that there will be more plastic waste in the ocean than fish by the year 2050.
  5. Transforming Carbon (and Other Environmental) Markets – Carbon Market is a way to reduce greenhouse gases produced by pollutants. By using the blockchain and its cryptocurrencies, it can optimize the existing credit management platforms for carbon and create opportunities for carbon credit transactions.
    • Example Use Case: For every purchase of a “book”, a portion of it will go to a forest’s reforestation.
  6. Next-Gen Sustainability Monitoring, Reporting and Verification – Sustainability reporting is a company’s organization report that focuses on information about its economic, environmental, and social impacts. By using the Blockchain, it can help transform the company’s sustainability report and assurance.
  7. Automatic Disaster Preparedness and Humanitarian Relief – Using blockchain can help improve disaster preparedness and relief efforts.
    • Example Use Case: IBM is spearheading a blockchain-based initiative called “Call for Code”. It invites developers to create applications to help people and communities prepare for natural disasters.
  8. Earth-Management Platforms – Using the blockchain to “manage the Earth”.
    • Example Use Case: Collecting, managing the data for environmental habitats. This includes cataloging the “genetic biodiversity of species and habitats to inform conservation efforts (for both marine and land habitats).”

In the Philippines, it was previously reported that Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cypher Odin, a local blockchain company. The two will work hand in hand in rehabilitating the 25-kilometer long river back to its former glory.

Read more: Pasig River To Be Cleaned Up With The Use of Blockchain and IoT

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