A world map of green Cardano

Our Proposal for Catalyst Fund 7, Global Sustainable Indep. SPO’s

We document our proposal for Project Catalyst Fund 7, submitted by CO2POOL and Shift Pool and supported by the climate-neutral Cardano group. If you think our project is worth supporting, please register with Catalyst so that you can vote on the proposal. Here is the direct link to our proposal (registration required). Please also check our second common proposal, “The Cardano Carbon Footprint” (registration required).

Problem statement : Blockchain technology requires energy and is considered harmful to environment. It is difficult to identify green stakepools and offsets.

Describe your solution to the problem: A world-map based on a database showing which Cardano stakepools are already running on renewable energy or offsetting their emissions.

Relevant experience: We are climate scientists, environmental and computer engineers who run several stakepools and help organise Carbon Neutral Cardano

Introduction

Climate change is the central challenge facing humanity. The consequences and implications will become increasingly clear in the coming years and will influence people’s decisions – be it in the choice of means of transport, in nutrition, but also in the use of technologies and (financial) products. As an innovative technology with the claim to change the world, the Cardano Blockchain must also face this challenge in order to be successful in the long term.

To open up further user groups, it is necessary to make the Cardano Blockchain as environmentally friendly as possible. This is not only in the interest of environmental and climate protection, but can become a significant unique selling point that contributes to the acceptance and success of the Cardano Blockchain, e.g. when used by companies, governments, institutions and international organisations. for which the UN Sustainable Development Goals are relevant

Through the Proof of Stake concept, the Cardano Blockchain is already a million times more energy efficient than Bitcoin or Ethereum. Nevertheless, the energy consumption by stakepools alone can currently be estimated at around 10 GWh ( https://co2pool.com/co2/ ). With increasing decentralisation, growing hardware requirements and new applications on the blockchain, this energy demand will continue to rise.

Challenge

We want to contribute to making the Cardano Blockchain carbon neutral. We want to raise environmental awareness within the community and promote the switch of stakepools to the use of renewable energy sources or, alternatively, the implementation of compensation measures, if the use of renewables isn’t possible at a given location. This process should be as transparent as possible and help to

a) increase the adoption of the Cardano Blockchain

b) enable more user groups to opt for Cardano

c) create an incentive for stakepool operators to act environmental-friendly, if delegators can opt consciously for ‘green’ pools

Solution

We will create an overview /world-map based on a database showing which Cardano nodes are already running on renewable energy or offsetting their emissions (green dots) and which are not (red dots). In some cases, this will require a manual check / verification.

World Map of green Cardano - just a simple draft so far...
World Map of green Cardano – just a simple draft so far…

On this basis, we will use country-specific emission factors to estimate how much CO2 is released from the conventional operated stakepools and how much of this emissions is to be offset. The aim is to generate a change in awareness among SPOs and to see the map become a little bit “greener” every epoch.

The data from the database can be shown on a website and made available for community services such as Adapools.org, Pooltool.io or SMASH Server of Wallets, so that delegators can decide to select pools that are powered by renewable energy only or offsetting their emissions.

The pools of the ClimateNeutralCardano Group ( https://climateneutralcardano.org ) also participate in the CardanoFoundation’s partnership with Veritree ( https://ito.veritree.com/ ) and help to create a CardanoForest with 1 million trees, whose planting and development are documented on the Cardano Blockchain. We would therefore also like to record and present compensation measures that are already being carried out by the community and pool operators.

All in all, this will create an overview that shows all those interested in the Cardano Blockchain how green the Cardano Blockchain already is and how it will continue to develop.

How we address the challenge question and how our proposal impacts the challenge metrics:

There are currently around 3,100 pools on the Cardano blockchain, which has already led to a strong decentralisation of the network since the launch of the Shelley Mainnet. At the same time, the demand for energy is increasing due to the larger number of pools, and increasing transactions on the blockchain due to new applications such as DEX and the minting of tokens and NFT. As the success of the Cardano blockchain grows, more users, applications and pools will be added, so energy consumption will continue to increase.

Through our proposal, users can get an overview of,

– how many green pools already exist

– where green nodes are located (geographical reference)

and make a conscious decision to delegate to a ‘green’ pool to support the goal of an environmental friendly, climate neutral Cardano blockchain.

We know that in some countries it is not possible to choose a green energy provider. However, for decentralisation reasons, it is important that the nodes are operated in a well-distributed manner worldwide. Therefore, we want to create the possibility for environmentally conscious pool operators to nevertheless operate a ‘green’ pool in which they compensate the energy consumption of their pool infrastructure through offset measures (e.g. through donations for planting trees etc.).

Therefore, we will set up a second section on the website in which such measures will be named. At the same time, this will provide an overview of how many offset measures in total are already running for the Cardano Blockchain. There are already numerous pools and projects that plant trees, for example. But we have a lack of data, how much is it in total and where pool operators and delegators can find these projects with just a click.

In conjunction with the scientific determination of the carbon footprint of the Cardano Blockchain (see Catalyst proposal, https://cardano.ideascale.com/a/dtd/The-Cardano-Carbon-Footprint/385045-48088 ), it is possible to determine whether we have already achieved the status of climate neutrality or even climate positivity.

Definition of success:

Overall, the implementation of this project will contribute to the fact that stakepool operators will increasingly rely on green infrastructure and/or offset their energy consumption. We hope to increase the current 33% stakepools based on renewable energies to more than 50% in the medium term (12 months after launch) and to convince another 10-20% to donate for offset measures (e.g. for the CardanoForest). We consider the media impact to be great, if Cardano as one of the most significant blockchain projects transparently moves towards climate neutrality with the help of our project. We therefore expect at least 3 -5  crypto media to report on this project within one year and publicise the website.

Possible challenges and difficulties we have to face:

One challenge will be to collect the data. Some processes can be automated because there are already databases where green cloud servers are listed. However, for operators of bare metal servers, manual verification is required (e.g. by submitting documentation on which kind of energy they use). This could be done for a small fee to cover expenses, and as a result a token / NFT could be issued to these pool op’s as a certificate with a validity period of one year or similar.

Schedule of work:

At the moment we are planning the following project stages:

Months 1 – 3: Project preparation, conceptual framework and guidelines, basic research and data collection, definition of sub-projects, search for partners, request for database programming and web development, awarding contracts.

Months 4 – 6: Development and programming, discussion of results, (non-public or partially public) beta version, testing and adaptation

Months 7 – 9: Presentation within the SPO community, possibility for SPO to correct data before launch, submit proof (energy purchase from bare metal servers), etc.

Month 9: Public launch, media work

Defined expected public launch date:

We expect to have completed the project in 9 months (~ October 2022).

Budget calculation (estimation):

Month 1 – 3:

Weekly meetings of the project group, determine data, obtain offers:  4.600,00 US-$

Month 4 – 6:

Weekly meetings of the project group, communication with third party services, collect data, test and adjustment:  5.600,00 US-$

Expenses for third-party services Web developer and database programmer 10.000,00 US-$

Month 7 – 9:

Weekly meetings of the project group, test and adjustment, communication with third party services and community, documentation:  4.800,00 US-$

total: 25.000,00 US-$

About us:

The proposal is submitted as a joint project of pools of the Climate Neutral Cardano Stakepool Operator group. The applicants are Stefan Rehfus, environmental engineer and SPO of CO2POOL, and Dr. Christian Unger and Prof. Hamish Cunningham, both SPOs of SHIFT Pool. These SPO and pools are committed to a climate neutral Cardano Blockchain and have been collaborating with the CardanoFoundation and Veritree on the project of the CardanoForest of #1milliontrees.

As engineers and scientists, the applicants have the skills to conceptualise, structure and manage the project. For the required work on database programming and creation of a website, recourse will be made to the skills of external web developers. Where possible, existing personnel resources within the Climate Neutral Cardano Group will be used so that a project can be implemented by the community for the community.

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