New blockchain platform supports circular economy

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A new blockchain application has been used to devise a solution to the red tape involved in ‘product as a service’ (PAAS) models. With PAAS, products are offered as a service rather than sold. The PAAS model could encourage long-term use of products, mitigating their environmental impact. These products can be used by different companies/consumers and parts can be more easily re-used, reducing the demand for new production and consequently requiring fewer raw materials.

Unfortunately, PAAS models often require a complex administrative process due to the amount of data involved. But the solution is here: a blockchain application, as blockchain makes it easier for different players to coordinate their data. The application was developed in the Community of Practice, a unique collaboration organised by Circle Economy and Sustainable Finance Lab and supported by Nederland Circulair!, in which Rabobank, Allen & Overy, ING, ABN AMRO, Leystromen and De Lage Landen have pooled their knowledge and technologies in order to test blockchain technology for Bundles, a PAAS provider. This Circular Service (CISE) platform focuses on cutting the time and costs involved in the administration of circular services.

The CISE platform can be used to support automatic performance and compliance with contracts (‘smart contracts’), and a similar platform could be developed in the future to support micropayments. CISE aims to relieve pay-per-use service providers, such as Bundles, of the red tape involved in managing assets.

"The economic reality is changing so fast that the only way we can promote the transition to a circular economy is by pooling our knowledge,” says Beryl van Wilgen of ABN AMRO.

The key lessons learned in the proof of concept stage are set out in the recently published white paper The Circular Service Platform.


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