During a school strike in an episode of The Simpsons, an unfettered Lisa manages to build a free energy device at home. Homer famously scolds, “In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!”
The UK based 4NEW has discovered a way to create its own free energy, while obeying the laws of physics and environmental regulations. In their ecosystem, electricity is a valuable by-product, produced by its two waste to energy (WTE) plants, whose operational costs are entirely offset by waste processing fees.
The company will tokenize this electricity in its KWATT coin. The coin will have multiple utility, including for global money transfer and payment of 4NEW’s services, and most notably for staking in a large onsite mining farm. This, 4NEW claims, will make them the first utility company to produce energy specifically for blockchain when operations begin in August 2018.
The present energy sector remains highly centralized, with consumer choice usually limited to a single provider in each country. Blockchain and smart contracts introduce the potential for decentralization of provision, trading and financing of energy.
4NEW is not alone in tokenizing electricity, nor in its aim of greening energy consumption. Both Power Ledger and WePower aim to help serve the renewable energy industry. CryptoSolarTech plans to construct a solar photovoltaic pool, and, like 4NEW, use its own generated electricity to power a mining farm.
In a private communication, Founder Varun Datta explains where 4NEW is different: “The world today is faced with some major challenges. They include an increasing global deluge of waste from humanity, insufficient and polluting energy production - including in the cryptocurrency space - and an ever increasing population exacerbating it all."
“4NEW is setting up a new electricity generating industrial plant that will not just have a low impact on the environment, but will actually contribute to the plus side of the ledger, helping the environment by converting city waste to energy, with no harmful pollution or residue, thanks to a closed combustion chamber,” says Datta.
The company’s two WTE plants generate 10 megawatts per hour, capable of supporting up to 360 billion gigahashes per hour in mining capacity in its mining farm. Remaining surplus energy from operations will be sold to the UK national grid.
These operations will generate value, according to the company’s model, both for 4NEW and KWATT token holders. Token holders will have the opportunity to earn more by staking or loaning their coins, as utilized energy, for the processing of transactions in the mining farm.
Token holders will have the right to mine there for a lifetime, without having to pay for the energy required. The KWATT coin embodies within it one kilowatt of electricity for a year. As the supply of KWATT is limited, it is projected that the coin will become pegged to an increasing amount of electricity.
4NEW states that the entire process will be accounted for and tracked on the blockchain. This will include waste collection, mining, distribution of value generated; even how much waste is diverted from landfill, and the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions avoided via cleaner waste processing and the creation of electricity without fossil fuels.
More than two billion tons of waste is generated worldwide each year by mankind. Each of 4NEW’s WTE plants will take in 50,000 - 100,000 tons of waste annually, processing it in an environmentally-friendly method that also generates electricity. A third plant is due for its operational launch in 2019, and more are planned.
Datta comments, “We have devised a way to help address some of the biggest challenges faced in generations: the waste problem and diminishing landfill space; pollution and its effect on climate; and an increasing global demand for scalable, sustainable energy. As blockchain slowly evolves to greater energy efficiency, we will meanwhile be offering a sustainable mechanism for cryptocurrencies.”
The company’s ICO is set to complete on August 10. Funds raised so far are in excess of its soft cap, and have reached more than $43 million. The KWATT coin will be listed on three exchanges (Exrates, HitBTC and HotBit) from August 21.
Image from 4NEW.
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Martin is a Thailand-based crypto journalist and copywriter. He is a co-founder of ANK-OTC and a team member of accelerator Block Alchemy, as well as a novelist and occasional podcaster. Contact via martinhiggins.net.