Newly Launched Service Enables Orgs to Mint Emissions and Offset Tokens to Reduce Fraud in the ESG Industry
The open-source Guardian project built on the Hedera public distributed ledger network enables the creation of a frictionless and fraud-proof ESG carbon offset token economy through auditable, traceable, and reproducible records that document the emission process and lifecycle of digital environmental tokens. As builders and maintainers of the open-source Guardian, we noticed a need in the market to provide a business-ready solution to quickly get started with minting discoverable emission and offset tokens. With that in mind, we’re excited to announce the launch of the Managed Guardian Service (MGS)!
To date, Envision Blockchain has focused on building out the open-source Hedera Guardian platform. Now, Envision Blockchain is thrilled to help enable emission and carbon offset token minting by providing a managed service that ensures a high level of configurability, reliability, security, and scalability.
History of the open-source Guardian
The idea for the Managed Guardian Service (MGS) was born out of Envision Blockchain’s work with the open-source version of the Guardian. Envision partnered with Hedera almost two years ago with the goal to build and maintain an open-source platform that allows for the creation and tracking of digital environmental assets. The process by which these assets are created is documented in a manner that is transparent and auditable, so they can be verified by anyone. The Guardian aims to provide a platform for companies looking to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices. Since the launch of the open-source Guardian in 2020, a number of companies have become involved as contributors to the open-source Guardian, including DOVU, Rearden Digital Assets, Swirlds Labs, HBAR Foundation, Envision Blockchain, Object Computing, Tolam Earth, Ledger Works, Flow Carbon, Filecoin Green, TYMLEZ, Meeco, Aniseed, atma.io by Avery Dennison, BlockScience, ServiceNow, Nova Institute and many others.
“The Guardian on Hedera enables the complex relationship between methodologies, roles, actors who fulfill those roles, and data they produce to cryptographically linked to digital environmental assets on the public ledger. These assets are fully auditable, discoverable, and compatible with state-of-the-art markets such as Automated Regression Market Makers on Hedera,” said Wes Geisenberger, VP, of Sustainability & ESG for the HBAR Foundation Sustainable Impact Fund. “The Managed Guardian Service by Envision makes building digital environmental assets easier than ever before by application developers, across segments of the market, by lowering the technical barrier to entry to web3 applications, but climate project developers as a whole.”
Envision Blockchain noticed an opportunity to take their experience as builders and maintainers of the open-source Guardian to create a hosted offering for the ESG industry. The goal is simple: provide a SaaS which allows application builders to focus on building their applications and policies instead of spending time configuring and managing the Guardian. Users of MGS won’t notice a difference with regards to the MGS offering and the open-source version, because almost all of the core open-source Guardian components will always be the same, such as:
- Guardian Service: Policy Workflow Engine (PWE) and W3C libraries
- Worker Service: Hedera SDK (Includes Hedera Token Service) and CO2.storage
Users of MGS, however, will experience a SaaS to instantly get started using the Guardian without worrying about the complexities of various cloud and web3 infrastructures.
The importance of reliable cloud infrastructure to quickly implement ESG methods and policies
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories and carbon-related claims have been met with increasing scrutiny and skepticism due to a lack of transparency, access to high-quality data, and dependable assurance processes. To address these issues, the Guardian’s core has a Policy Workflow Engine (PWE) that manages and monitors the state of required policy actions and the required information flow in a policy grouped into a policy workflow and determines which are the next policy actions based on the state of a policy workflow. The policy actions may be anything from saving an application form in a document management system to sending a reminder e-mail to users or escalating overdue items to management.
MGS supports the creation of Policies the same way the open-source Guardian creates policies; by developing schemas that capture and calculate the appropriate Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) data and workflows that reflect the project processes, lifecycles, and roles of industry-leading standards. The benefits, however, of having MGS manage the PWE ensure a fully immutable and auditable lifecycle provenance of carbon-claim validation and verification managed by a reliable cloud infrastructure that is supported with a 99.9% uptime SLA. This means that MGS customers can rely on the MGS-hosted infrastructure to enable confidence in the application’s policy execution environment to work as expected since MGS is managed and supported by Envision Blockchain (the builders and maintainers of the open-source Guardian).
Additionally, MGS is a Kubernetes-centric solution that provides a scalable infrastructure to match the workload of our customers. Autoscaling kicks in once consumption thresholds are met. This type of production-ready infrastructure is critical for methodologies that have heavy MRV data streaming requirements. Regarding the importance of MRV data protection, MGS is built on Microsoft Azure infrastructure which means that all of your data is stored in their data centers which are rigorously secured by both physical and logical security measures (for example biometric access control).
Easily turning your MRV data into discoverable and tradeable digital environmental tokens
At various steps within a Policy Workflow, methodologies may require various MRV data points mentioned above such as fields from questionnaire answers, satellite imagery, IoT metering data, etc. The structure of those MRV data points within the Guardian community are known as Schemas. Once those Schemas are fulfilled, they turn into Verifiable Credentials. By definition, a Verifiable Presentation (VP) contains one or more Verifiable Credentials (VCs). Since the Guardian is so dependent on data input, we are building MGS with High Availability (HA) and Disaster Recovery (DR) in mind. It’s vital to make sure that MGS can endure different demand loads and different types of failures with the least possible downtime to ensure business continuity. Additionally, regarding the Policy’s MRV data, MGS provides a backup mechanism in case of unplanning emergencies; MGS provides a backup and restoration of data to specific points in time.
The token minting process uses the Hedera Token Service (which is native to the Guardian) and occurs when a policy is fully validated and approved, whereupon the Guardian creates a unique Hedera message timestamp, which includes the URL of the VP (also includes the associated VCs) linked with the token.
The VP can serve as a starting point from which you can traverse the entire sequence of documents produced by Guardian PWE, called the Trust Chain, which led to the creation of the token. This is helpful when there needs to be the ability to verify that a token has been created by a specific process at some point in time. With always-on reliability, MGS ensures Trust Chain assurance.
Flexible to your needs
The Managed Guardian Service is a hosted environment where we provide customers with resources, tools, and support. Understanding that are many types of personas that are the target audience of MGS; once registered for an MGS account, account owners will have the ability to create multiple tenants. This is useful when our customers want to build different Guardian-based applications for different use cases. Each tenant will have its own data layer to prevent data leakage from one tenant to another. Additionally, MGS customers can request their own instances for complete data isolation and increased performance.
Once a tenant is created, customers will be given two options to get started using the Guardian. Option One: is to use a simple user interface to develop policies and run proof of concepts quickly. This is the open-source version of the user interface (which will always be updated to remain in alignment with the open-source code base). The user interface approach is ideal for companies that want to get started quickly and don’t want to invest in building a new front end to capture and calculate MRV data. Also, we have been receiving feedback that building policies are simpler when using a user interface. Option Two: is to use APIs for a fully customizable application experience. Customers that have their own application-specific Front and Back Ends can leverage the hosted APIs and experience the full benefits of the MGS. We have also provided a secure connection between our network and your application using HTTPS protocol.
With regards to security; we have built and continue to integrate MGS with a variety of methods to securely store public and private keys for our customers. Starting with the beta phase, MGS provides the implementation of Hashicorp Vault. Our roadmap for the post-beta phase includes providing our customers with a wide array of configurable key management options to fit their application building needs such as Fireblocks, Azure Key Vault, along with other popular options.
Managed and supported by us
The Managed Guardian Service (MGS) enables applications a way to mint emissions & carbon offset tokens without worrying about the complexities of managing the technology infrastructure. The monitoring and alerting system is the backbone of our service. It allows us to detect any issues before they manifest themselves to users and enables us to take timely action. MGS is widely covered by monitoring and alerts to allow us to react, prevent, and analyze any issues that can happen. Some of the coverage includes:
- Compute usage (CPU, memory usage) for all containers and virtual machines
- Container information
- Application Logs
- Networking performance information such as bandwidth usage and inputs/outputs
- Storage and databases
In the event that technical support is needed, the MGS team has a helpdesk with SLAs to address needs. If a customer needs technical support outside of MGS like building either the application layer or the policies, Envision Blockchain can assist. They have been building applications for the Web3 space since the beginning of 2018 and focus on guiding organizations through 3 major milestones on their Web3 journey: Use Case Analysis, Proof of Concept Development, and Scaled Deployments.
We really hope the open-source Guardian and our Managed Guardian Service will help make it easier for projects to initiate, run, document, and validate the creation of their own discoverable minted tokens on the Hedera public distributed ledger. If it does, then we will be well on our way to making a better planet for everyone! You can register for the beta version here.
About Envision Blockchain Solutions
Envision Blockchain Solutions builds applications for the Web3 space. Our mission is to reshape and align today’s systems allowing organizations to recognize the new value in tomorrow’s Industry Vertical Solutions. The management team has years of Fortune 500 experience and has built a team of subject matter experts in Web3 and Business Transformation Processes. We focus on guiding organizations through 3 major milestones on their Web3 journey: Use Case Analysis, Proof of Concept Development, and Scaled Deployments.
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Envision Blockchain Solutions builds applications for the Web3 space. Our mission is to reshape and align today's systems allowing organizations to recognize the new value in tomorrow's Industry Vertical Solutions. The management team has years of Fortune 500 experience and has built a team of subject matter experts in Web3 and Business Transformation Processes. We focus on guiding organizations through 3 major milestones on their Web3 journey: Use Case Analysis, Proof of Concept Development, and Scaled Deployments.
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