How CryptoCycle is using blockchain to to prevent fraud

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
CEO of CryptoCycle Duncan Midwood

CryptoCycle is a UK-based technology company which aims to help industries that suffer from fraud and errors by offering a synchronised and secure record of transactions with blockchain.

The company will present its deposit return scheme (DRS) solution at this year’s Smart Waste, Smart Resources conference.

Here, we chat with CEO Duncan Midwood about the technology.

Can you explain what CryptoCycle does?

CryptoCycle develops blockchain solutions to incentivise behavioural change in the circular economy. Simply put, it tracks uniquely coded items through a supply chain and provides an incentive to users to 'do the right thing' and return those items for recycling or reuse. It does this in a secure, efficient and low-cost way through a unique application of blockchain.

Why has the company decided to focus on the circular economy?

The concept came about my looking at the fraud inherent in a deposit return scheme (DRS). By using our technology, fraud is eliminated and the solution becomes much simpler at much lower cost. The principles can be applied to any application where items are needed to be tracked through a system and incentives are required to optimise performance or compliance.

The circular economy has so many aspects that are under-developed and under-performing that we decided to focus on delivering benefits here and deliver real beneficial change to the environment.

What do people usually think of when they see blockchain?

Blockchain is most commonly associated with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. In this application they are slow, cumbersome and utilise huge amounts of energy. Less well known is their application and potential outside of finance.

We have selected a new form of blockchain that keep all the positives but eliminate the negatives. We have had several awards from the blockchain community for our application of the technology.

How do you educate potential customers about the technology?

Our potential customers are the consumer goods industry and, to a degree, national governments. Both understand the value of serialisation (unique coding) and blockchain, but we are the first to put them together, with an incentivisation model, in the circular economy.

What could blockchain offer the waste industry?

Blockchain enables valuable data to be secured and protected while offering total transparency. Records contained within it can never be altered nor deleted and so it offers a permanent record of transactions that cannot be adulterated. As it operates over the cloud, implementation can be fast and low cost.

If inaccurate data is entered into the blockchain, it can be difficult to trace. How do you avoid this from happening?

Blockchain enables all records and transactions entered to be full traced - so poor data entry can be forever evaluated and traced to the inputting party.

Can you tell me more about Reward4Waste?

Reward4Waste applies the technology to a DRS. The unique coding on bottles and cans means that it can be guaranteed that there is never more than one reclaim of a deposit per container.

This means that consumers can 'self-scan' the containers without risk of fraud. Reward4Waste translates this into a smartphone app driven solution using bins as storage devices and puts the technology into smartphones.

Hence a system that no longer relies on high cost reverse vending machines and can extend a DRS to existing bin infrastructure and to home recycling. The technology and the related patents mean that there is no other similar solution existing today.

How can we develop a Deposit Return Scheme which increases recycling rates but doesn’t undermine kerbside collections?

Reward4Waste enables a widespread distribution of return points so that, out-of-home, there is a return point close to where drinks are consumed compared to a conventional DRS model of strategically placed units in large supermarkets. But extending DRS to home recycling (and commercial kerbside) means that there are return points wherever consumption takes place.

What new innovations can you see coming onto the market over the next few months?

There is much work on developing capability of sorting and recycling technologies. Reward4Waste can create a significant additional advantage to these new technologies as it will ensure that there is a detailed inventory and history of collected material.

There are also new technologies being developed to provide unique identification to consumer goods and, as these emerge, so will Reward4Waste's benefits.

Smart Waste, Smart Resources will be held at Villa Park Conference Centre, Birmingham on 16 October. To book your place, click here.

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