Silvio Micali, Founder of Algorand, gives a lightning talk at the 2018 Underscore VC Blockchain Core Summit on the Future of Scalability
Silvio Micali, Founder of Algorand, gives a lightning talk at the 2018 Underscore VC Blockchain Core Summit on the Future of Scalability. Underscore VC

Algorand and the environmental monitoring platform PlanetWatch announced a new collaborative project to create the world’s premier air quality ledger to use the Algorand blockchain and IoT technologies. PlanetWatch, a high-tech startup based in France, will store data collected from air quality sensors on the Algorand blockchain. Sensor owners will receive the utility PLANET tokens as rewards for their contributions.

As we reported recently, Algorand created the first open source, permissionless, pure proof-of-stake blockchain protocol for financial products.

Air pollution is currently the fourth biggest health risk according to the World Bank. Regulators, governments, and citizens together have to take the responsibility in air quality monitoring. The means for air quality monitoring that are used currently are insufficient as there is no real-time data reporting, which means that when pollution peaks are detected, the people that are endangered cannot be warned in a timely manner.

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PlanetWatch is working on a global network of air quality sensors through the help of environmentally-aware people who place the sensors on the facades of their homes. They can even carry the sensors with them when traveling with the aim to spread real-time information about air pollution over the Internet.

Once the data is validated it will be transcribed onto the Algorand blockchain, as part of an air quality repository, which cannot but modified and can be accessed by all participants. It is these “environmentally aware people” who will be rewarded with PLANET tokens for the data they contribute.

W. Sean Ford, Chief Operating Officer at Algorand, explained that the protocol “was built by the team to be energy conscious with minimal processing power needed to achieve consensus in its innovative pure proof-of-stake approach,” detailing further:

“The eco-friendliness of the Algorand network makes for a natural partnership with PlanetWatch to help global populations access transparent, reliable information about air quality in their locations. Blockchain, in general, receives criticism for high-energy outputs, but with Algorand’s energy-efficient network participation, we are working to be a part of environmental solutions from air quality and beyond, and are thrilled to partner with one of the environment’s biggest advocates, PlanetWatch.”

PlanetWatch CEO, Claudio Parrinello, made clear that:

“The missing link in air quality monitoring is a high-density, low-cost sensor network, delivering real-time data,” adding that “Historically, air pollution is monitored through large, expensive scientific instruments installed in a small number of locations, with data not being published in real-time. Through Algorand’s highly secure, fast, and energy-efficient protocol, data is recorded onto the blockchain for anyone to access. This data has vast commercial and scientific value as air quality pollution will become more prevalent in the coming decades.”

Some might say that because it is located just a mile away from CERN that PlanetWatch is actually the premier blockchain firm to be included in the physics laboratory’s spin-off partnership program for improving air quality monitoring worldwide. This collaborative effort aims to help in solving this common health problem.

Giovanni Anelli, Head of Knowledge Transfer at CERN, welcomed PlanetWatch:

“We are very happy to support Planetwatch as a CERN Spin-off. Their commitment to improve air quality monitoring worldwide is important for society,” giving more information about their participation in the program, “Planetwatch will use the C2MON data acquisition framework developed at CERN, and will soon join the French business incubation center of CERN technologies Innogex in France.”

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