Reference : Enabling end-to-end digital carbon emission tracing with shielded NFTs
Scientific journals : Article
Engineering, computing & technology : Computer science
Business & economic sciences : Management information systems
Security, Reliability and Trust
Enabling end-to-end digital carbon emission tracing with shielded NFTs
Babel, Matthias [> >]
Gramlich, Vincent [> >]
Körner, Marc-Fabian [> >]
Sedlmeir, Johannes mailto [University of Luxembourg > >]
Strüker, Jens [> >]
Zwede, Till [> >]
Energy Informatics
United Kingdom
[en] Blockchain ; Certificate ; Decarbonization ; Distributed ledger technology ; Electric vehicle ; Guarantee of origin ; Personal carbon trading ; Privacy ; Non-fungible token ; Sustainability ; Zero-knowledge proof
[en] In the energy transition, there is an urgent need for decreasing overall carbon emissions. Against this background, the purposeful and verifiable tracing of emissions in the energy system is a crucial key element for promoting the deep decarbonization towards a net zero emission economy with a market-based approach. Such an effective tracing system requires end-to-end information flows that link carbon sources and sinks while keeping end consumers’ and businesses’ sensitive data confidential. In this paper, we illustrate how non-fungible tokens with fractional ownership can help to enable such a system, and how zero-knowledge proofs can address the related privacy issues associated with the fine-granular recording of stakeholders’ emission data. Thus, we contribute to designing a carbon emission tracing system that satisfies verifiability, distinguishability, fractional ownership, and privacy requirements. We implement a proof-of-concept for our approach and discuss its advantages compared to alternative centralized or decentralized architectures that have been proposed in the past. Based on a technical, data privacy, and economic analysis, we conclude that our approach is a more suitable technical backbone for end-to-end digital carbon emission tracing than previously suggested solutions.

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