Blockchain and/or cryptocurrency mentions have become marketing tools, for all sorts of products and services. Many of these have little to do with either underlying technology or currency.
Consider the following, lightly edited, announcement from Genesis Research and Technology Group (Genesis). Selected more or less at random and because what it announces sounds worthy, blockchain and cryptocurrency aspects are more or less irrelevant. To start, the announcement headline runs: “Blockchain and cryptocurrency meet chemical-free clean water”. Now read on.
“Oil and gas are extracted from the Earth through a process called hydraulic fracturing. The extraction process relies on high-pressure water mixed with additives to fracture the oil-bearing rocks beneath the Earth’s surface. Genesis Research and Technology Group has perfected and patented a system that is transportable and chemical-free for the water used in the fracking process. Genesis Research and Technology Group will release the much-anticipated ITO (Initial Token Offering) on the blockchain and cryptocurrency exchange.
“Our mission is to have a global expansion so that the water used in the fracking process can be treated on-site, chemical- free and reused over and over again,” says Ron Price, CEO of Genesis Research and Technology Group.”
Dirty water, blockchain and/or cryptocurrency
“The average price of one barrel of oil is $50; however, that barrel comes with a cost. Four barrels of water are required to produce one barrel of oil. It costs $48 to transport and eliminate those four barrels of fracking water. That leaves an average profit of $2 per barrel of oil. The Genesis chemical-free technology treats the water on-site for minimal cost — up to 70 percent less per barrel — to clean and reuse fracking water.
The water, in the past, used to produce the chemical fluids required for the fracking process either came from nearby groundwater and surface water or brought in by the truckloads from other freshwater sources. “Genesis has developed a game-changing technology that eliminates the use of chemicals and restores the water back to a brackish reusable state involving no transportation,” states Billy Hood, VP of Marketing for Genesis Research and Technology Group. Considering that fracking-produced water accounts for roughly 98 percent of all waste products generated by the petroleum industry and 40 billion per annum to dispose of fracking-polluted water, Genesis has devised a technology that eliminates chemicals and transportation. “Commercial ‘chemical-free’ water cleaned on location will reduce cost for the oil and gas industry by up to 80 percent annually,” says Michael Lagow, CAO of Genesis Research and Technology Group.
“Darren McVean, CEO of MVP Asia Pacific, LLC states, “We believe the blockchain solves the serious issues around trust and verification of environmental impact monitoring. With the introduction of blockchain and smart sensor devices, ultimately environmental regulation will require real-time monitoring of equipment sensors to ensure instant access to accurate environmental statistics.” Genesis Research and Technology Group senior executives approached MVP and Universal Media Group 18 months ago because Genesis was exploring a new technology partner with experience in IoT (Internet of Things) smart devices. MVP and Genesis made the commitment to explore the storing of valuable environmental records to the blockchain. MVP was able to develop the IoT and blockchain platform for Genesis along with access to MVP’s massive electrical engineering team that worked closely with the technology department to test and simulate the water readings from the Genesis system.”
The Genesis engineering process
“In 2008, roughly 25 billion barrels of polluted water was produced in the United States alone. This year 2017 it is estimated that the number of barrels of produced water will number in the 31 billion barrels. In response to this immense threat to the environment, Genesis Research and Technology Group has developed sole-sourced, green, state-of-the-art Industrial Water Treatment Technologies that treat produced and frack water and return it to a reusable state.
“The Genesis process relies on three licensed purification methods: ozone (O3) generation, coagulation, and ultrafiltration. Using these cutting-edge technologies, Genesis can offer the following services:
- frack and produced water recycling for reuse
- drinking water sterilization and treatment
- wastewater treatment and recycling
- meat and product sterilization for the food industry
- industrial, petrochemical and refinery wastewater recycling.”
What does it mean
Genesis appears to have developed a technology which produces clean reusable water onsite. This may be relevant for the world’s population. Furthermore, so Genesis says.it can offer its clients ‘a sole source, reusable water filtering and cleansing technology that is chemical-free’. This is good and reasonable, and we should applaud.
But what does it have to do with blockchain and/or cryptocurrencies? On the face of it almost nothing.
Yes, there is some mention of keeping records on a blockchain:
- first, “We believe the blockchain solves the serious issues around trust and verification of environmental impact monitoring. With the introduction of blockchain and smart sensor devices, ultimately environmental regulation will require real-time monitoring of equipment sensors to ensure instant access to accurate environmental statistics.”
- then “MVP and Genesis made the commitment to explore the storing of valuable environmental records to the blockchain. MVP was able to develop the IoT and blockchain platform for Genesis along with access to MVP’s massive electrical engineering team that worked closely with the technology department to test and simulate the water readings from the Genesis system.”
This is little more than blithe lip service to what is inherently a sound concept. Blockchain fluff, not substance.
In addition, “Genesis Research and Technology Group will release the much-anticipated ITO (Initial Token Offering) on the blockchain and cryptocurrency exchange”. This does not provide a wealth of detail or precision. Why would an energy engineering enterprise like Genesis issue an ICO? To raise money makes sense. Yet there are other more conventional methods (bank loans, bonds, equity offerings and more). On the other hand, a shiny, little unregulated, ICO would be financially sexy, might raise money and, if it did. would create a new asset class separate from the Genesis water-cleaning innovation which Genesis claims. Which raises the question: what is the prime business of Genesis?
Now leave Genesis. Here it is an only an example (ET lacks the qualifications to assess whether its clean water processing is sound, but we hope it is). The main point is that all sorts of businesses risk distraction if they pursue ICO riches. Similarly, many ICO buyers may find themselves deceived into thinking they are buying into products or services that sound good.
Wrapping new initiatives in blockchain and/or cryptocurrency fancy clothes benefits few. Enterprises should look with great care for the substance behind blockchain or cyptocurrency/ICO mentions.