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Why Human Rights Lawyers Chose Blockchain: 'Energy Is a Basic Human Right'
A Blockchain Platform Aims to Reduce Imbalance in Energy Use
Why Human Rights Lawyers Chose Blockchain: 'Energy Is a Basic Human Right'
  • By Michael Herh
  • March 26, 2019, 16:03
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Metanoia Project leader Michael Choi (right) and co-founder Robert Swift

Metanoia Project is a blockchain platform based on renewable energy with a focus on “good will.” The project states that its ultimate goal is to develop a p2p donation system based on blockchain while supporting overseas developments. The name of the project, Metanoia, is an ancient Greek word meaning “a transformative change of heart.”

The leader of Metanoia Project, Michael Choi, is in fact an international human rights lawyer. He took the No Gun Ri case during the Korean War. The co-founder of the project, Robert Swift, CEO of M Blockchain, is also a widely known international human rights lawyer. He once filed litigation on behalf of 2 million Holocaust victims and produced settlements of US$7.5 billion. In another case against the president of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos, he also successfully retrieved US$2 billion on behalf of the victims. Choi said that Metanoia Project started when two of them came together with the same idea in mind— “Energy is a basic human right.”

While explaining the unusual combination of human rights lawyers and blockchain, Choi stated, “20 percent of the global population living in developed countries are consuming 60 percent of energy, when 80 percent of the entire population living in developing countries are only using 40 percent. Many people suffer from not having electricity or clean water. However, blockchain made it possible for individuals to be able to freely produce and distribute energy. That’s when we realized that we could use this to reduce imbalance of energy in the world.”

Choi also said, “I’ve met countless refugees who didn’t have electricity. The children grew up in constant darkness and fear. They were emotionally unstable. However, once they could turn on the lights at night, the emotional instability was gone. In these difficult places, I believe one of the ‘actual support’ we could provide is energy. Then I knew, energy is a basic human right.”

Therefore, the project has been developing a P2P electricity trading platform. Metanoia Project plans to receive technology transfer from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in developing a trading platform for energy distribution. Through this, the project plans on applying blockchain technology in areas such as P2P electricity trading using smart contract, data collection and preservation of distributed resources, visualizing resource development, DApp and so on.

It could also be understood as a similar model to Power Ledger, the Australian blockchain-based energy trading platform, with an additional feature of providing energy assistance. Similarly, Metanoia also has incorporated the idea of microgrid by letting prosumers (producer+consumer) produce needed energy while selling the extra through a P2P blockchain platform. The published Metanoia coin keeps the platform running; at the same time, it shares energy trading data on distributed leger and maintains the transparency of trades.

coin is also given to victims in the Philippines who suffered violation of human rights. In the past, it took CEO Swift several months to distribute compensations to the victims. There was also a danger of running into armed robbers. Considering all the risks and inconvenience, they came up with the idea of distributing compensations with Metanoia coins.

Choi also said that many influential people including former Information and Communication Minister Yang Seung-taik, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Hwang Woo-yea, former Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Kim Young-jin joined the advisory committee in support of the project. Metanoia Project was able to make a business agreement with Marine Wind Power, a company run by Park Joo-won, a member of the advisory committee and former mayor of Ansan City. The deal led to receiving reference for building an industrial complex. In another word, the power of networking was at work.

“Our plan is to build energy efficient buildings in Incheon Songdo with renewable energy technologies including solar heat, light, wind power and geothermal heat,” Choi said. “We also plan to build more in Southeast Asia and Africa. Constructing a smart village, a smaller version of a smart city, and developing it into a self-sustainable model that uses Metanoia coins is also where we are going in the future.”