Distributed ledger technology for the circular economy grant

AJ Gonzalez | March 18, 2022

Imperial College London, by Daniel Mapp

A grant from IOTA Foundation unites cross-College expertise within the I3-LAB, based in the Dyson School for Design Engineering.

  • The grant will support researchers to develop new applications for distributed ledger technology. The main focus will be on how this new technology can support a shift to a circular economy, for example by incentivising consumers to recycle more or by increasing transparency around the sustainability of materials used in manufacturing. IOTA Foundation is a Berlin-based non-profit foundation which supports research into distributed ledger technologies and promotes their adoption.
  • Distributed ledger technology provides a platform to support these new ‘servitized’ businesses and could play a major role as an enabler of circular economy.
  • A ledger is simply a database of transactions. However, unlike conventional databases, where information is held centrally by an administrator, a distributed leger database is held across multiple devices on a peer-to-peer network. The distributed ledger is thus a means for keeping track of complex transactions across a network of agents – but without the need for a central authority to guarantee the trustworthiness of transactions.
  • Distributed ledger technology has a broad range of potential applications in the circular economy, both in incentivising waste reduction and recycling (for example, by encouraging people to recycle more with a financial incentive in the form of a virtual token) and in enabling servitized businesses models.

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