BitHub Africa, in collaboration with Hivos East Africa, launched an innovative solution in October 2021 to address one of Africa’s major issues – insufficient access to electricity.
Melanin Solar, one of BitHub Africa’s pioneering projects and the first of its kind in Africa, employs blockchain technology, leveraging both the Bitcoin Lightning Network (BLN) and the White Protocol. As a result, communities can share energy over the BLN while also storing excess energy in the form of Whive digital tokens.
The Melanin Smart Box (MSBX) is a blockchain-backed sustainable energy solution located in the Maasai village of Singiraine in Kajiado, Kenya.
Here is a look at how the solution works and creates impact:
The BLN is a second layer network built on bitcoin’s blockchain that enables transactions to be automated by the MSBX in real-time while decreasing the costs associated with using bitcoin’s layer 1 blockchain.
The Whive blockchain protocol, which debuted on February 2, 2020, is a peer-to-peer (p2p) blockchain protocol that incentivizes the development of sustainable energy solutions through trustless rewards by allowing users to convert excess solar energy into blockchain-based digital tokens, a process known as digital energy storage.
As a green-first blockchain protocol, one of Whive’s outstanding features is CPU mining optimized to accelerate solar mining adoption. The protocol can also be used for other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) projects, particularly in wind and mini-hydro projects in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations.
Save for digital energy storage, the distributed energy project presents an array of other benefits to the community, which includes the ability to share energy between themselves in a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace using blockchain technology.
“Save for digital energy storage, the distributed energy project, presents an array of other benefits to the community, which includes the ability to share energy between themselves in a peer-to-peer(p2p) marketplace using blockchain technology.“
– Wangiru Muchiri Innovation Lead, Vocies for Climate Action at Hivos
The team behind the solution says that they are spurred by a sense of urgency towards decarbonization efforts for the sake of the planet.
Further, the use of open-source, decentralized technology can expedite progress, creating transformational levels of innovation and transparency.
They also say blockchain has the ability to accelerate a shared vision and provide market-led solutions in relation to decarbonization. It is a community effort to ensure that the industry does not further aggrevate the onslaught of climate change.