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 A Curious Plan to Save the Environment With the Blockchain

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PostSubject: A Curious Plan to Save the Environment With the Blockchain   Mon May 22, 2017 11:36 pm

Magic internet money—also known as cryptocurrency—is at an all-time high. The experts who watch this stuff predict that one bitcoin (the most famous cryptocurrency) will soon be worth $2,000.



The big selling point of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is their use of something called the blockchain to make any transaction mossstly trustworthy. In a cryptocash economy, the blockchain renders treasuries, banks, credit cards, and other financial organs vestigial. Enthusiasts believe these decentralized, cryptographically sealed databases could starve inefficient middlemen from virtually any system. And today in Nature, conservation biologist Guillaume Chapron argues that blockchains can even save the planet.
Basically, all a blockchain does is assign any piece of information a unique signature. If someone alters that information, that unique code no longer works, and you know something fishy is afoot. In bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the whole community then reviews every attempted transaction to ensure each is unique—preventing shenanigans like spending the same money twice. But it can come in handy elsewhere. Walmart recently launched a trial using a blockchain to fight food poisoning and waste by tracking food from supplier to shelf. Say a salmonella outbreak hits Sioux City, Iowa. Walmart’s supply chain blockchain would let it irrefutably trace the tainted product back to a spinach farm in Salinas, California.
“One reason why we have environmental crises, like the overexploitation of natural resources, and pollution, is because the global economy is full of actors who are doing business without much accountability,” says Chapron. “When you go buy something, you have no idea where it comes from, how it’s made. There are so many intermediaries, and it’s very easy to cheat.” Cheating, in this case, means more than companies lying about where they dump their garbage. And actors can be anyone, including nation-states.

https://www.wired.com/2017/05/curious-plan-save-environment-blockchain/?google_editors_picks=true
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