Blockchain + AI: A Surprising Sustainability Solution

Blockchain + AI: A Surprising Sustainability Solution

The News: Vechain and SingularityNET recently announced a partnership that combines blockchain and AI technology to tackle sustainability challenges. The partnership aims to combine Vechain’s enterprise and sustainability data with SingularityNET’s AI capabilities to enhance and optimize sustainability solutions. More information about the partnership can be found here.

Blockchain + AI: A Surprising Sustainability Solution

Analyst Take: A collaboration between blockchain platform Vechain and decentralized AI platform SingularityNET was recently announced. The partnership aims to leverage SingularityNET’s AI capabilities on top of Vechain’s data management to optimize and enhance its blockchain solutions. But what caught my eye specifically was the key use case that is being targeted: sustainability.

Blockchain and AI have been two of the most buzzworthy topics in technology for some time, and while fundamentally different technologies, they have commonly shared a similar criticism – once again, sustainability. Recently, I wrote a research note discussing the sustainability concerns, as well as the potential sustainability focused use cases, of AI. A very similar note could actually be written about blockchain. Blockchains, specifically those using a Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism, can have an outsized energy consumption that in some cases (such as the most prominent blockchain: Bitcoin) can rival the energy usage of entire cities or even small countries. This is quite similar to the energy predicament of AI, and has often led to a poor perception of blockchain technology. But just as with AI, there are blockchain applications that are actually focused on tackling environmental and sustainability challenges.

Vechain, specifically, has recently pivoted its focus as a platform toward sustainability-driven solutions, such as using blockchain to incentivize or gamify sustainable actions. This collaboration with SingularityNET looks to apply AI algorithms to unlock and further enhance blockchain based sustainability solutions. The partnership between Vechain and SingularityNET catches my eye because it demonstrates the ability to leverage two separate emerging technologies, both of which are often scrutinized for their energy usage, to tackle new sustainability challenges.

When considering new technologies alongside sustainability, it can often feel like taking one step forward and two steps back. New technology brings about innovation, but often at the cost of increased environmental impact. Certainly, that has been the case with both blockchain and, more recently, AI – but the hope remains that the innovation brought out by the technology can eventually overcome the initial environmental issues and potentially even aid in solving new sustainability challenges. While the path forward for sustainable AI is perhaps still unknown, the progress made by its emerging technology counterpart may provide some hope for the road ahead. The early days of blockchain were centered on an incredibly energy-demanding technology in Proof-of-Work, but as the technology progressed, more sustainable consensus mechanisms, and even entire sustainability-focused blockchains, such as Vechain, have emerged. While AI has its own set of technical challenges, it is conceivable that some AI applications could take a similar path toward becoming a sustainability-focused technology.

The collaboration between Vechain and SingularityNET demonstrates this ability for both technologies to overcome their environmental hurdles and become crucial new tools in enhancing sustainability. Interestingly, the partnership shows not only the potential for each technology to individually impact sustainability, but shows that they can actually be combined to leverage and enhance each other in doing so.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

AI: Environmental Concern or Key to a More Sustainable Future

Are SSDs Really More Sustainable than HDDs?

Sustainability in IT: A Q3 Reflection

Author Information

Mitch comes to The Futurum Group through the acquisition of the Evaluator Group and is focused on the fast-paced and rapidly evolving areas of cloud computing and data storage. Mitch joined Evaluator Group in 2019 as a Research Associate covering numerous storage technologies and emerging IT trends.

With a passion for all things tech, Mitch brings deep technical knowledge and insight to The Futurum Group’s research by highlighting the latest in data center and information management solutions. Mitch’s coverage has spanned topics including primary and secondary storage, private and public clouds, networking fabrics, and more. With ever changing data technologies and rapidly emerging trends in today’s digital world, Mitch provides valuable insights into the IT landscape for enterprises, IT professionals, and technology enthusiasts alike.


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