The use of energy in the blockchain space has raised questions about the sustainability of blockchain solutions. As a company, we believe blockchain can improve not just the food system, but every individual life that is connected to it. Naturally, sustainability is of the utmost importance to us. How do we provide optimal security in a sustainable way? By recycling in-use energy using a combination of protocols.
Open Public blockchain
As a public blockchain, we are best placed to offer optimal transparency and trust. It also means we need to take extra measures to effectively protect the blockchain from potential known, and unknown attacks. We maintain both security and sustainability by using a unique combination of Proof of Stake (PoS), Proof of Work (PoW) and delayed Proof of Work (dPoW). Each protocol offers something different, but necessary to enable our secure and sustainable approach.
95% Proof of Stake (PoS)
The Proof of Stake concept is known to be the most energy friendly protocol to date. It requires no heavy calculations, so is not associated with the large server farms you hear about related to bitcoin mining. PoS states that a person can mine or validate block transactions according to how many coins he or she holds. However, the majority (expressed in coin holdings) also ‘owns’ the network. With pre-mined, special purpose blockchains like the ones we create, a form of centralisation occurs. To provide additional security and counter-balance the centralisation we get from PoS, we add low difficulty PoW and dPoW to our governance. This way we maximise both security and sustainability.
5% Proof of Work (PoW)
Proof of work is a decentralised consensus mechanism that requires members of a network to expend effort solving an arbitrary mathematical puzzle to prevent people from gaming the system. It is a very inclusive governance tool, as anyone can join the validation of transactions. It can lead to significant energy consumption. We have set the rewards of our Proof of Work mechanism to near zero. This means we maintain the decentralised consensus mechanism, without encouraging energy use for highly incentivised PoW.
+1 delayed Proof of Work (dPoW)
The delayed Proof of Work mechanism recycles the hashrate of the Litecoin network we use to protect all integrated blockchains with an equal level of security. The decentralised Komodo notary node network is part of our PoW governance. Notarisation is the process of storing backups of individual blocks onto other blockchains roughly every ten minutes. All notarised chains are bundled within the Komodo chain and secured in Litecoin with a single transaction. This process does not increase Litecoin’s energy consumption at all, instead we put the already spent energy to good use by securing thousands of extra transactions. This type of energy use is significantly more efficient than we could ever do on a per network basis.
As of this writing, dPoW now secures dozens of blockchains that have a combined market cap of over $1 billion.
By using this setup the nodes in our networks can run on standard cloud service infrastructure the same way as a simple database or web application would run. Simultaneously, we meet our requirements for decentralisation and security. For the nodes we control we use data centers with an innovative approach on sustainability, similar to what Google advocates for.
New technologies and changing how we operate as a society will always be met with growing pains. The more we learn, the more we can adapt and this is necessary to ensure technology can coexist and even be a partner to sustainability initiatives. Transparency via blockchain in the food supply has the power to prevent nutrient loss, impact living wages for struggling farmers, and make food safer and trustworthy. Would you like to discuss more in depth? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to arrange a call.