This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Energy series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and energy.
In this interview we speak with Derek Myers, CEO of Zero Carbon Project, to understand how his company is using blockchain to transform the energy business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind Zero Carbon Project? Why and how did you begin?
DM: I have been commercialising software technology in new competitive markets for 30 years, starting out in Sydney after the deregulation of global foreign exchange and interest rate markets. Over the last 20 years, I have built an energy consultancy called Beond, leveraging latest software tech, which is now a respectable concern in UK. Four years ago, Philip Louw who heads our software team, introduced us to Bitcoin mining which we experimented with at the margin. Two years ago, he pinned me down to engage with Ethereum blockchain. We were inspired by the trustless nature of smart contracts and the ideology of decentralisation of power to individuals.
2. Please describe your use case and how Zero Carbon Project uses blockchain:
DM: We are applying Ethereum blockchain to tackle climate change. We reward our community for contributing to the cause by switching to zero carbon energy using our Market. We also provide generous referral rewards for marketing our cause by spreading the word.
ZeroCarbon tokens are underpinned by demand generated by the requirement for energy suppliers to use the ZCC tokens to pay transaction fees for using our Market to win customers. We also have a staking scheme for energy suppliers to participate in a free marketplace for large energy users. Third, we have a staking scheme for community members to provide custodian services involving operating our Zero Carbon Markets on their own websites.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
DM: Our community includes energy consumers that have switched to zero carbon energy using our Zero Carbon Market. They have saved money compared to their fossil fuel supply contracts, they have contributed to solving a complex global problem and they have earned valuable Zero Carbon tokens.
Our community also includes introducers who have attracted more customers to our Market. They have benefited by receiving referral rewards equivalent to 3x the consumption rewards earned by their customers. Their customers received the same referral reward.
Our community includes over 30 energy suppliers in the UK that have won new customer business. We currently receive their transaction fee as GBP and we provide them with the conversion facility to ether and ZCC tokens. We are in discussion with them about staking services which they have confirmed their interest and made further introductions to their internal stakeholders for commercial sign-off.
4. What other blockchain energy use cases are you excited about?
DM: I am excited about the GBX and IDEX exchanges and the staking services they are introducing. GBX are well positioned as a regulated securities token exchange and IDEX is the top decentralised crypto exchange. We are currently engaged on IDEX staking service where we earned a 25%/year return for our first month of activity validating their crypto transactions.
Decentralised stable coins are very interesting, especially given MakerDAO holding firm in last years crash.
DAOStack holds promise in the quest for decentralised holy grail. Maybe evolve to a form of mass multi-sig based on majority voting systems around payment decisions.
5. Where will Zero Carbon Project be in five years?
DM: We are in the process of finalising our second software release in June. This follows our first successful release in October 2018 which included the household and business zero carbon markets; and our token economy smart contracts. We are committed to Ethereum which we believe will solve its scaling problems and will remain the leading blockchain platform.
Next year, we are aiming to raise funds to market the service and grow the community here in the UK.
In five years, we aim to have Zero Carbon Markets operating in all of the competitive electricity markets in Europe, North America and Australasia. In addition, we aim to be one of the largest crypto-currencies the global market for access to smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.
Ultimately, we believe every business and individual will own their own crypto-currency and token economy which will be integrated through a global automated crypto eco-system.