Weather-tracking blockchain in West Africa, but transparency on a raincheck

Published on by Cointele | Published on

Telokanda has partnered with the blockchain platform Telos to upload weather data generated from weather balloons, which are high-altitude devices that collect and transmit information about atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speeds via a small sensor called a radiosonde.

The sensors transmit data to the Telos blockchain in real time, where the information is then stored on RAM. Telokanda uses this data to alert first responders of severe weather conditions up to 12 hours in advance.

"The lack of weather information in Africa has powerful negative effects on the local population, who must get by without modern weather forecasting. This is also a global challenge, as the lack of data in Africa limits meteorological predictions in the Atlantic and beyond."

According to a Nature article, millions of weather records in Africa remain in cardboard boxes and rely on obsolete technology while digitization efforts are held up due to data ownership and distribution issues.

Despite the region's challenges in record-keeping for weather conditions, Telokanda founder Nicolas Lopez told Cointelegraph that the company's interest is to work in West Africa partly because collecting its weather data is important for U.S. insurance companies analyzing the risk of hurricanes originating off the coast of Africa.

While Telokanda's sensor-equipped weather balloons work to collect data in West Africa, the Telos blockchain provides public transparency, allowing anyone to use and access the information collected.

Although data transparency and the use of that information by others has been frowned upon by Africa's weather officials, Horn asserted that the project can prove its value.

According to a United Nations 2018 report on climate data sharing in Africa - which reviews the World Meteorological Organization resolution 40 on policy and practice for the exchange of meteorological data and products that regulates international data sharing - major barriers remain when it comes to efficiently sharing data in Africa.

The document states that national laws and legislation in Africa restrict access to weather data due to concerns about national security.

While cryptocurrency is adopted with open arms in Africa, data transparency via blockchain networks may not be so welcome.