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What is a blockchain and how do you make it cli­mate neu­tral?

You’ve prob­a­bly heard of the term blockchain. Let us briefly tell you what is it and what you can use it for.

Where a bank or provider used to serve as an inter­me­di­ary, there is now a more decen­tralised method for trans­ac­tions: The blockchain. Behind it is a dig­i­tal process that allows you to store and for­ward mon­ey, infor­ma­tion or oth­er things that can be record­ed in data. Sen­si­tive data is han­dled with a high lev­el of secu­ri­ty. Wat­ti­fy uses the blockchain to record the ener­gy gen­er­at­ed by its projects — and it is cli­mate neu­tral! You also receive the return from the projects you sup­port con­ve­nient­ly and trans­par­ent­ly in the form of tokens with the help of the blockchain. Find out how a blockchain works and how Wat­ti­fy uses it in an envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly way here.

How does a blockchain work?

Think of blockchain as a kind of mod­ern account­ing. The data to be record­ed is stored in dig­i­tal blocks that are linked togeth­er to form a chain. Data stored in a block gen­er­ates a so-called hash” for the block. This is a dig­i­tal fin­ger­print con­sist­ing of a com­bi­na­tion of let­ters and num­bers. Like a fin­ger­print, each hash is unique. You can recog­nise from it which block it is and which data is record­ed in it. If a new block with new data is cre­at­ed, it receives the hash of its pre­de­ces­sor in addi­tion to its own hash. The two are now linked and a chain is cre­at­ed.

For Wattify, using a blockchain was the right step towards a more decentralised energy world.

How is the data in the blockchain secured?

If some­one were to try to manip­u­late the data in a block, the hash of the block would change along with the data. The sub­se­quent blocks would then be invalid because they do not have the new hash. To pre­vent a fast com­put­er from sim­ply recal­cu­lat­ing the invalid hash, there is the proof-of-work” mech­a­nism. The mech­a­nism slows down the pro­duc­tion of new blocks and makes recal­cu­lat­ing all the blocks of the cor­re­spond­ing chain seg­ment too cost­ly. Anoth­er pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure is the dis­tri­b­u­tion of back­up copies to all par­tic­i­pants rep­re­sent­ed in the net­work. So every­one keeps a decen­tralised record at the same time. Every­one has insight into the blocks of a chain in which they par­tic­i­pate and can con­firm their valid­i­ty and add new blocks. Thus, a demo­c­ra­t­ic con­sen­sus always pre­vails in the blockchain. There is no need for a third par­ty to ver­i­fy the data. The trans­mis­sion of infor­ma­tion is faster and cheap­er.

What is a blockchain used for?

The secure and decen­tralised infra­struc­ture of a blockchain offers numer­ous pos­si­ble appli­ca­tions. The most wide­ly used is the trans­ac­tion of mon­ey in the form of cryp­tocur­ren­cy. You’ve prob­a­bly heard of Bit­coins and Co. If you want to send mon­ey to some­one in this way, the data of the trans­ac­tion — sender, recip­i­ent, amount — is stored on a block and autho­rised via the meth­ods men­tioned. The pro­duc­tion of cryp­tocur­ren­cies or any vari­ant of a cryp­to­val­ue or cryp­toas­set also takes place on the blockchain. Some­times cryp­to assets serve a pur­pose oth­er than just being a means of pay­ment. For exam­ple, they can rep­re­sent your prof­it shares or vot­ing rights. In this case, they are called tokens instead of coins. Blockchains set up specif­i­cal­ly for this pur­pose are respon­si­ble for map­ping and legit­imis­ing your tokens.

But blockchain tech­nol­o­gy could also be used to sort patient files, notarise doc­u­ments or organ­ise the count­ing of votes. Any appli­ca­tion is con­ceiv­able that requires data records to be stored trans­par­ent­ly and secure­ly. One catch is that this costs elec­tric­i­ty. Dig­i­tal data­bas­es like a blockchain have to be host­ed by servers and man­aged by com­put­ing sys­tems. The com­put­ers, in turn, prob­a­bly draw their ener­gy from sources that burn coal or gas. This leaves open the ques­tion: How do we make the process of a blockchain cli­mate-friend­ly?

Wattify can equip energy projects such as PV parks with smart technology to record the energy generated in a blockchain.

Wat­ti­fy’s cli­mate-neu­tral blockchain

We equip every project on Wat­ti­fy with smart tech­nol­o­gy when it goes live. The tech­nol­o­gy allows us to con­tin­u­ous­ly record the ener­gy gen­er­at­ed in a cli­mate-neu­tral blockchain. In doing so, we break down an impact project into many cryp­to secu­ri­ties. These secu­ri­ties are ulti­mate­ly your tokens and dig­i­tal­ly rep­re­sent, for exam­ple, a PV park on our blockchain. This means a dai­ly pro rata return for you and all oth­er investors, depend­ing on the ener­gy gen­er­at­ed on the day — trans­par­ent, decen­tralised and secure.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar belief, Wat­ti­fy nodes are car­bon neu­tral because they are built on Smart Meter Gate­ways (SMGW). SMG­Ws are com­mu­ni­ca­tion units with an inte­grat­ed secu­ri­ty mod­ule. As part of a smart meter­ing sys­tem, they ensure the grid-serv­ing con­trol of con­sump­tion and gen­er­a­tion plants. Wat­ti­fy relies exclu­sive­ly on renew­able ener­gy sources — i.e. they are con­nect­ed to the solar, hydro, bio­gas or wind farm plants from which they draw their elec­tric­i­ty. This net zero prop­er­ty makes the Wat­ti­fy blockchain unique — the first true net zero blockchain on the mar­ket.
Now you know how a blockchain works and how Wat­ti­fy makes it car­bon neu­tral for you. What if you could expe­ri­ence this inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy first-hand? You can! Become part of our Wat­ti­fy com­mu­ni­ty! We are look­ing for­ward to meet­ing you.

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