The Benefits of Blockchain
Foreword by Lauren Meek, Head of Content, eTukTuk.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are the new era of transportation. They will provide long-lasting benefits to adopters who switch away from internal combustion engines (ICE) which currently cause dense air pollution and CO2-related health conditions for people all over the world. Not only that, but our reliance on fossil fuels has global nations in a chokehold, with rising fuel prices and dwindling supply.
The switch to electric is inevitable. Many countries have already formulated policies which aim for the 100% replacement of fossil fuel-guzzling passenger cars and other vehicles with EVs. Sri Lanka’s uptake, for example, will happen by 2040.
However, it doesn’t make sense that we just make the switch to an electric vehicle. What does make sense, is that by buying that electric vehicle, you become part of a widely accessible and affordable network that makes the switch faster, easier, and more affordable – a future-proof ecosystem powered by the sharing economy, designed to increase a driver’s take-home pay and reduce operational costs. Such a network can only be powered by the Cardano blockchain for the ultimate efficiency and people-centric technology available.
Sukhjeevan Uppal – Chief Technology officer at eTukTuk recently shared his thoughts with Nasdaq on how blockchain technology can facilitate something greater for users than just a switch away from fossil fuels.
Read the original article HERE.
How Blockchain Technology is the Key to Building Sustainable Transport Networks
Sukhjeevan Uppal – Chief Technology Officer, eTukTuk.
As the world faces the dual challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, industries that were once seen as contributing to the problem are now stepping up to offer sustainable solutions together. Among them, the blockchain and electric vehicle (EV) industries have displayed an unlikely synergy that could represent a major step towards reducing carbon emissions and realizing a greener future.
Blockchain technology was once decried as environmentally problematic due to its reliance on energy-inefficient problem-solving systems where users compete to solve complex problems and earn the right to add blocks to the blockchain. With this system, known as Proof-of-Work (POW), more computational power offers a greater competitive advantage, while also guzzling more energy. However, not all blockchains have the same environmental impact. A system known as Proof-of-Stake (POS), which relies on market incentives and validators that put down a stake in exchange for the right to add blocks to the blockchain, offers an alternative that removes the need for energy-intensive competition, reducing energy consumption by 99.95% and removing CO2 emissions from the equation. In September 2022, the second largest blockchain, Ethereum, successfully transitioned from a POW system to a POS system, signalling a sea change for the industry towards a more sustainable future.
In a similar vein, cars and other forms of transportation represent another industry with significant environmental impact that is making headway in its transition towards a greener future. These polluters have been seeing a shift from fossil fuel-powered internal combustion engines (ICE) to battery-powered electric engines. Unlike with blockchain, however, it’s not as easy as switching from one system to another, and simply developing an electric vehicle (EV) is not a silver bullet for the industry’s emissions. Refueling infrastructure that has been built up for ICE vehicles over the past century will essentially have to be replicated as charging stations, both in homes and out on the road, to make a switch to these vehicles a viable alternative for drivers.
According to the Center for Global Development, 63% of the world’s total carbon emissions are generated from the developing world, and 88% of these emissions originate in Asia or Africa. 270 million TukTuks—a small motorized vehicle akin to a rickshaw—and other two- and three-wheelers underpin the transportation sector throughout these regions. Yet despite their size, they all emit more CO2 than an everyday car. This is a well-understood problem, but shifting to environmentally friendly solutions is cost-prohibitive for individuals and governments alike. For individuals, the price of a new EV and the immaturity of the second-hand market presents a steep hurdle. On the other hand, governments would have to make sizable investments into the R&D and the installation of charging infrastructure that matches the needs of the local environment and economy, alleviates the range anxiety of citizens, and is sufficiently future-proof.
The developed world has made promises to bankroll environmental solutions for the developing world, but has yet to follow through sufficiently. Enter blockchain. Blockchain could enable individuals from across the globe to step up and provide support where their governments have shirked their responsibilities. This technology could form the basis of a shared economy where people in the developed world could earn rewards for supporting the development of charging infrastructure in the developing world and participate in micro-lending programs that enable drivers in these parts of the world to transition from their old, inefficient ICE vehicles for clean EVs.
Beyond just funding change, on the ground, blockchain technology could underpin the infrastructure for payment, charging, and vehicle sharing that would be necessary to build a reliable transport network. Payments on the blockchain can be processed much faster and with more efficiency than traditional ledgers and technologies, utilizing less power and natural resources to process transactions between drivers and passengers. Blockchain payment fees are also a fraction of traditional fiat payments, which would further reduce EV charging costs – another very important benefit for EV drivers in developing nations. Furthermore, almost seamless payments for charging would cut downtime at charging stations, preventing long queues for drivers who need to get back on the road.
In terms of vehicle sharing, imagine a blockchain-based platform where drivers who don’t yet have the funds to switch to an EV can pool their money to share a vehicle. Owners can register their vehicles on the platform and the blockchain ensures that the shared vehicle is authentic, that it belongs to the designated owners, and specifies the terms and conditions for how the vehicle is shared, such as usage periods, and insurance requirements.
Blockchain has the potential to play a significant role in the transition towards a greener future for the transportation industry. While EVs are an important step forward, the challenges of infrastructure development in the developing world are substantial. As the world continues to grapple with climate change and environmental degradation, innovative technologies like blockchain offer a glimmer of hope for a better tomorrow.
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