The Elephant in the Room: Climate Change

Plastics filled sea turtles. Poor them but not our problem.
Homeless polar bears. Poor them but not our problem.
Forests and trees burning.
The future is Mars. 

Really?

Planet Earth has had enough of indolence and now the entire planet is finally on fire. Alongside governments and global leaders addressing the climate change crisis, the business community must play a vital role in how we model sustainable future. 


How technology companies are tackling the pressing matter of climate change

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At Novum Insights, we’ve looked at how latest tech trends can contribute to sustainability and innovative companies and projects that focus on the most needed transformation on this planet, Reverting Climate Change!

Hey AI, could you stop being so cool?

Complex machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence can monitor and predict climate events, pinpointing inefficiencies in carbon emission-heavy industries. This gives individuals and most importantly corporations an easy tools to have a complete grasp of their carbon footprint and implement eco-friendly alternatives. 

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Harnessing cognitive computing, big data and IoTs, IBM's Green Horizon analyses environmental data to help city governments and utilities to build a more sustainable future. City planners can monitor air quality, forecast air pollution levels and provide pollution warnings and health advice. Solar and wind farms can ensure the optimum configuration and positioning to reduce unnecessary energy waste.

Google Deepmind’s machine learning help improve energy efficiency in large-scale data centres. Applying Deepmind Google has saved up to 40% of energy consumption to cool down its data centres. AI can help optimize the use of unpredictable energy sources such as wind. DeepMind can predict wind power output 36 hours ahead of actual generation and recommend how to optimize the hourly delivery. 

Endless use cases for DLT

Among many use cases for blockchain technology, sustainability is often less known. However energy companies started to recognise its impact and offer real-time data management, carbon credit tracking, P2P energy trading and many more powered by blockchain. 

WePower’s blockchain-based green energy production accounting solution helps connect directly with energy producers. WePower promises competitive rates with full transparency. The company’s platform measures each individual’s energy consumption patterns to help them contract with the best fit energy provider.

Spark allows consumers to invest in carbon and prevent future pollution. Carbon emitters buy allowances to pollute. The allowances has a finite number forcing emitters to cut their pollution and are traded across Carbon Registries in the US, Canada, Europe and China. Built around distributed ledger technology, Spark’s platform ensures global exposure, security, real-time settlement, low delivery cost and transparency of the service. 

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LO3 Energy is developing blockchain based solutions to generate, store, exchange and use at a local level. LO3 developed a permissioned data platform called Exergy on which localised energy marketplaces take place to transact energy across the legacy energy grids. 

The SEC blessed

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We have seen mind-blowing sums raised through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and how most of the crypto tokens were worthless. 

The US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission piled in like a vengeance since December 2017 to this no-sweat capital raising environment in an aggressive attempt to chill the market. It took enforcement actions against unregistered token sales that showed no obligations to investors. Yet lately it has been taking a more positive attitude to companies looking to comply with the US securities laws, publishing a fresh regulatory guidance for token issuance in April

Since then there have been a flurry of startups getting much more benevolent treatment from cryptocurrency’s bête noire regulator. Last month the SEC approved Securitize as a transfer agent. In July 2019, the SEC has approved two token offerings consecutively under Regulation A + opening up an avenue to startup fundraising. 

The SEC's regulatory guidance and Reg A+ explained here.


Reg A+ startups

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Blockstack provides an open-source computing network that allows developers to build decentralised application on the platform. The company has received the SEC’s approval to run a $28 million public token sale under Regulation A+. This notes the first token offering qualified by the SEC in the US.

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Issued on the Ethereum blockchain, Props is a cross-app consumer rewards token that strengthens in-app engagements within streaming platforms such as YouNow and provides a new financial vehicle for content creators. Props token is the first Reg A+ consumer utility token qualified by the SEC. 


Apart from approving exempted securities such as Reg A+, the SEC opened doors to further assist the growth of tech companies. 

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A token issuance platform Secu­ri­tize is now an official securities ownership tracker approved by the SEC. Registered as a transfer agent, Securitize enables the compliant trading of private securities. 

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Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE) aims to assist tech companies to go public more quickly while giving them time to make their ideas into working products fulfilling their long term goals. Founded by Eric Ries, LTSE was given SEC’s approval in May 2019 and is registered as a national stock exchange in the United States. 


Not all blockchain tokens are securities

The SEC has issued no-action letters to a jet leasing firm TurnKey Jet and a gaming token company Pocketful of Quarters confirming that it will not take enforcement actions for selling their blockchain-based tokens without registering them with the SEC.
The utility tokens of both companies thus :

  • Do not represent equity of a company 

  • Do not represent profit potential 

  • Do not store value

  • Cannot be traded on a secondary market

  • Cannot be used as funds to develop company’s business management

  • Will be used to facilitate payment settlements

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Pocketful of Quarters is a cryptocurrency-based gaming platform. Its ERC-20 token Quarters can be used across multiple games to buy game items from fancy armors to extra lives preventing the loss of gaming credits earned while playing video games.  

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The SEC okay-ed an unregulated ICO of TurnKey Jet in April 2019. TurnKey Jet is an aircraft charter service offering short-term lease including aircraft crew maintenance and insurance. The company’s TKJ token will be sold and remained at a price of $1. The pre-purchased TKJ tokens will be redeemed to charter planes eliminating the delays in payment.


Being able to market and sell blockchain-based tokens as a consumer product marks a big step in the growing crypto space.