Blockchain as a Service: A Holistic Approach to Traceability in the Circular Economy

Today blockchain technology provides us with a formidable tool in the struggle to trace economic resources, especially in the context of the circular economy. The circular economy has been proposed as a key element in the transformation of production models in the context of European post–covid-19 recovery plans with particular reference to the Next Generation EU instrument. It is also a fundamental part of the European Green Deal. All of which comes under the umbrella of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. The circular economy lays the foundations for the promotion of a new production and consumption model in which the value of products, materials, and resources remains within the economy for as long as possible, minimizing the generation of waste. This gives rise to a series of processes in which resource traceability is a key factor in preserving process integrity and guaranteeing process authenticity to the State, citizens, and companies. In this context, blockchain technology can provide solutions that are aligned with the 2030 Agenda. This technology facilitates the procedures and processes of logistics and of IoT sensor records via smart contracts through intrinsic properties that include timeproof sealing and data record immutability. In the present chapter, we describe the technological advantages that blockchain technology offers the circular economy. Sustainability is the cornerstone of blockchain models within the framework of the 2030 Agenda, so energy pollution in transactions or mining should be avoided. If we are able to overcome current environmental deterrents, distributed ledger technologies should represent a powerful tool in circular economy projects. In this chapter, we would hope to contribute to the debate on future paths towards sustainability. Specifically, we will describe how Blockchain as a Service-based traceability platform could be introduced into the circular economy while guaranteeing their straightforward but highly effective deployment in, for instance, the agrifood sector, at only minimal cost to SMEs. The underlying idea is based on finding blockchain solutions aligned with Sustainable Development Goals in order to ensure that the principal objectives and philosophy of the circular economy are upheld.