8 ways blockchain can be an environmental game-changer
Even as an emerging technology, blockchain has so much more relevance than digital finance alone. It is also poised to disrupt how we think about and manage the world’s most pressing environmental issues.
Blockchain, in combination with other advanced technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, could prove to be a wild card that disrupts not just existing business models, but also the way we tackle climate change and other environmental challenges.
1- ‘See-through’ supply chains: Transactions all along the supply chain can be recorded through a blockchain and an immutable (unchangeable) record of provenance (e.g. a product’s origin) can be created.
2- Decentralized and sustainable resource management: Blockchain can underpin a transition to decentralized, clean and more resource-efficient energy and water systems at scale. Platforms could collate distributed data on these resources (e.g. household-level water and energy data collected with smart sensors).
3- Raising the trillions – new sources of sustainable finance: Blockchain-enabled finance platforms could potentially revolutionize access to capital and open up a whole new class of potential investors for projects to address environmental challenges; from investment in green infrastructure projects to enabling blended finance or charitable donations for developing countries.
4- Incentivising circular economies: Blockchain could fundamentally change the way that materials and natural resources are valued, used and traded, incentivizing individuals and organizations to realise financial value from things that are currently wasted, discarded or treated as economically invaluable. This could drive widespread behaviour change and help to realise a truly circular economy.
5- Transforming carbon (and other environmental) markets: Blockchain platforms could provide cryptographic tokens with a tradable value to optimize existing market platforms for carbon (or other substances) and create new opportunities for carbon credit transactions. An early pilot example is China’s “Carbon Credit Management Platform”, developed by Energy Blockchain Labs and IBM.
6- Next-gen sustainability monitoring, reporting and verification: Blockchain has the potential to transform sustainability reporting and assurance, helping companies better manage, demonstrate and improve their performance and enabling consumers and investors to make better-informed decisions. Automatic data collection and management (e.g. of greenhouse gas emissions) could be realised through smart contracts in order to access real-time, trustworthy data and minimise fraud.
7- Automatic disaster preparedness and humanitarian relief: Blockchain could underpin a new shared system for multiple parties involved in disaster preparedness and relief to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and trust of resources. A well-designed system could enable a wide range of actors to share crucial information automatically in the event of a disaster through smart contracts.
8- Earth management platforms: New blockchain-enabled geospatial platforms, which enable a range of value-based transactions, are in the early stages of exploration. They could enable new market mechanisms to protect the global environmental commons, from life on land to ocean health.
Read full article here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/8-ways-blockchain-can-be-an-environmental-game-changer