The Perpetual team has vast experience in digital product innovation and building apps for the blockchain. We were also founded in this great city of New York, and like to be good citizens of the place we call home. The NYC BigApps competition encouraged New Yorkers to come together “to find lasting blockchain solutions to some of the City's most pressing challenges”, and we intended to do just that.
This year’s competition was split up into three categories; real estate, identity, and energy. Our environmentally conscious team had already been thinking of ideas for how to use the blockchain to help conserve and more efficiently use one of the world’s most valuable resources: energy.
We started developing an idea, which we dubbed Power Chain, to tackle energy usage by New Yorkers. In our brainstorming sessions, we concluded that New York faced three main issues. The first was that carbon footprints tailored to the average New Yorkers habits are difficult to measure accurately in one place. Furthermore, there is a lack of citizen engagement in sustainability focused events and we believe this is due to a lack of incentives for people to participate. Lastly, for those “green New Yorkers” out there, the ability to measure the improvement of environmentally friendly habits over time is non-existent so it would be difficult for this group and those who wanted to begin participating to prove their impact (or lack thereof).
We settled on the core idea that there had to be a better way for New Yorkers to increase their environmentally-friendly habits. As the idea developed, we started to think about ways that we could incentivize the average citizen and it started to become clear that gamification and the ability to gain rewards had the largest potential to cause measurable change across the city. Additionally, with the backing of the city government and agencies like the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the idea could be shared extensively throughout the five boroughs or plug into an existing effort like GreeNYC.
In our past experiences designing for the blockchain, it was important to ensure the product functionality was most suitably leveraging the blockchain for the true value it offers, and that people could make use of our blockchain-powered product in the most user-friendly way possible.
We decided that the best way to do this was to take our idea of gamification and let users gain rewards in the form of ERC20 tokens while recording user’s green activities on the blockchain. Answers to an energy consumption survey would determine the initial amount and users could gain more coins in the future by plugging into various utility energy-saving programs, taking part in sustainability events, and more.
This approach lays the foundation for a future energy usage accountability system through persistent records and a standardized data format scalable for business and government use. People can use our product today to get their Power Score, representing their eco-friendly behavior. In the future, we plan to calculate a Metro Score to capture the ideal city-wide energy utilization, and use this to benchmark business, government unit, and individual eco-friendly behavior. Over time, the goal is to reach equilibrium among these constituents, using the blockchain as a means to track this information and generate credits and penalties for compliance and deviance respectively.
Our preparation culminated with us finishing within the Top 3 in the energy category and led us to present our solution at NYC BigApps Demo Day!
We developed the idea further and have a live working version of Power Chain integrated with the blockchain. You can get your Power Score now!
We hope you enjoy checking out what our solution has to offer and we’d love to know your thoughts below.