Dubious Greeneum

Electrical Grid

Recently at a startup event in Silicon Beach (Los Angeles) I came across a flyer from Greeneum. This is a blockchain startup which claims to have a new way to connect producers and consumers of electricity throughout the world. It pushes all the trendy buttons for a blockchain startup. But crucially it appears bogus. See the above closeup figure about “a single global blockchain”. This riffs off the bitcoin and ethereum global blockchains, while the “eum” in Greeneum explicitly evokes ethereum.

Greeneum Brochure Cover

What’s the problem? Power transmission losses. Wikipedia gives an example of a 160km line carrying 1GW that has losses of 1%. Specifically, there is no significant electrical transmission between North America and Asia or Europe. Suppose a producer in Wichita sends power to a buyer in Denver and this gets into a record in the Greeneum global blockchain. Someone in Paris or Shanghai who verifies the blockchain in order to trade in Europe or Asia will end up verifying that US record. Totally unnecessary.

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