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.

Greeneum Brochure Inside

Worse, see the quote in the 4th figure about ‘drives efficiencies’. Their global blockchain contributes to inefficiencies. The cost is paid in useless power consumption in maintaining the blockchain.

Greeneum Brochure Drives Efficiencies

You don’t need a PhD in Electrical Engineering to figure this out. So why did they say this? The most benign reason is that they did not know. Just ignorant. But what does this say about their competence? Look at all those blokes on their website. What do they all do? This matters, if you want to believe they can accomplish all those great things on their flyer and website.

Greeneum Brochure Drives Efficiencies

A worse reason is that they already know this, and still they waved around their single global blockchain. Why? Perhaps to deal with the great unwashed audience, who know little about blockchains or electricity. So Greeneum just wants to shill trendy buzzwords. Deceptive.

Go one step further. If they are deceptive, is it because they really have no intention of doing anything except raising funds in their ICO?

Take your pick. Ignorant or deceptive.

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