Protocol Labs and Energy Web complete first showcase of an open-source solution to decarbonize Filecoin

Energy Web
Energy Web
Published in
5 min readSep 9, 2021

In support of the Crypto Climate Accord (CCA), Protocol Labs and Energy Web today announced a successful showcase of an open-source solution for decentralized renewable energy purchasing by crypto miners. In this solution showcase, six Filecoin storage providers (i.e., miners) purchased verified renewable energy certificates from 3Degrees and SP Group using Energy Web Zero, a public renewable energy search engine(PL and 3D are both CCA Supporters.) The solution will eventually be applicable across any blockchain to make it easy for any crypto miner to deliver proof of green mining.

The CCA is a private sector led initiative to decarbonize the crypto sector with open-source decentralized solutions and promote best industry practices. Energy Web is a co-convener of the CCA and both Protocol Labs and 3Degrees are CCA Supporters.

In the showcase announced today, renewable energy purchases are recorded in Filrep, a reputation system used by clients aiming to store data on the decentralized Filecoin network. Integrating renewable energy data from Energy Web Zero into the reputation system allows clients to factor renewables into their decision when choosing a storage provider. Each record on Filrep points to a verification page in Energy Web Zero, showing where the energy was produced, documenting the renewable source, and providing an attestation certificate proving ownership of the corresponding renewable energy credits.

Over the next year, Protocol Labs and Energy Web will create a package of open-source solutions that make it easy for all Filecoin storage providers to search for and purchase renewable energy on Energy Web Zero. Both Filecoin storage providers and clients will be able to verify procurement to substantiate their environmental claims because transactions will be anchored on the public Energy Web Chain, and in turn be traceable to existing renewable energy registries as well as individual solar, wind and hydroelectric power projects.

“We are excited to develop open-source decentralized technologies to support investments in renewable energy and track energy use throughout the supply chain,” said Alan Ransil, the technical lead for Filecoin Green at Protocol Labs. “By serving as an early adopter of these technologies, the decentralized network of Filecoin storage providers will set an example for both crypto miners and other industries to follow.”

Filecoin is an open-source cloud storage marketplace, protocol, and cryptocurrency that serves as a decentralized alternative to traditional cloud storage. Traditional cloud storage providers like Apple, Amazon, Google, and others have been moving aggressively with renewables. Now, decentralized storage and blockchain, too.

Many members of the Filecoin Storage Provider community voiced support for the new project:

  • “The dream of a decentralized storage network powered by renewable energy has been a motivating force behind the company since our first prototype,” said Kevin Huynh, the CEO of PiKNiK, a San Diego, California-based storage provider. “We believe it is imperative for the future of Web3 to grow our industry in a way that protects nature, while setting a sky-high standard for transparency as to our environmental footprint and renewable energy sourcing.”
  • “I was deeply impressed by The Paris Agreement and Kyoto Protocol, which established the need to act quickly to support the environment,” said Alex Ma, a Filecoin storage provider based in Asia. “In my view, linking Filecoin to Energy Web Zero brings the community closer to a sustainable data storage solution.”
  • “I’m happy to do my part in making Filecoin more environmentally clean and sustainable,” said Nelson Chen, “this approach allowed me to support renewable energy and prove my contribution easily, without having to change my power provider or install new equipment.”
  • Stuart Berman, who serves as CTO, also at PiKNiK, said that “We started participating in Filecoin because we believe in the long-term vision. This proof of concept connecting Filecoin to renewable energy markets is a major first step towards solving the challenge of environmental sustainability within Filecoin and Crypto more broadly.”
  • Alex Altman, the COO of Seal Storage Technology Inc. said: “As we enter a new age of corporate environmental responsibility, Seal Storage Technology is delivering on its commitment of carbon neutrality with the ambitious goal of achieving carbon negativity in 2022. Filecoin already empowers Seal to offer decentralized cloud storage using significantly less energy than other blockchain-based networks, and the integration with Energy Web will allow our renewable energy use to be tracked and verified”

The full cross-chain solution to be deployed in mid-2022 will create a unique decentralized identifier (DID) on the Energy Web Chain for each Filecoin storage provider who chooses to participate and link storage providers’ renewable energy purchases to their respective DIDs. This linking of a given Filecoin storage provider’s DID with verified green Filecoin mining will enable that storage provider to reflect their zero carbon status in the Filecoin Reputation System, and allow energy attributes to be traced from client to storage provider to individual renewable energy projects.

This cross-chain solution being developed can be extended to miners in other ecosystems because the underlying technical architecture will leverage the verifiable, interoperable hash links that are the basis of Web3 technologies such as IPFS and all blockchains. The project will therefore support the development of verifiably renewable crypto mining projects such as Green Hashrate.

Protocol Labs and Energy Web will share progress updates over the months ahead in advance of releasing commercial ready open-source solutions.

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About Protocol Labs

Protocol Labs is an open-source research, development, and deployment laboratory. Our projects include IPFS, Filecoin, libp2p, and many more. We aim to make human existence orders of magnitude better through technology. We are a fully distributed company. Our team of more than 100 members works remotely and in the open to improve the internet — humanity’s most important technology — as we explore new advances in computing and related fields.

Protocol Labs is an Energy Web Member.


About Energy Web

Energy Web is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating the low-carbon, customer-centric energy transition by unleashing the potential of open-source, digital technologies. We enable any energy asset, owned by any customer, to participate in any energy market. The Energy Web Chain — the world’s first enterprise-grade, public blockchain tailored to the energy sector — anchors our tech stack. The Energy Web ecosystem comprises leading utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, IoT / telecom leaders, and others.

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Energy Web
Energy Web

EW is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating a low-carbon electricity system through open-source, decentralized, digital technologies.