Utilities Can Choose Whether Blockchain Is a Threat or an Opportunity

Published onApril 27, 2018

Blockchain has been in the news a lot lately. Much of the noise is a result of the soaring valuation of the digital currencies it supports like Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, digital currencies are just one application for blockchain technology. Innovators and developers are capitalizing on investor interest in anything blockchain, pushing the boundaries of how the underlying technology can be used. Blockchain has become a buzzword in executive boardrooms spanning dozens of industries, including finance, law, healthcare, supply chain management, conservation, and—more recently—energy. The energy industry is a relative latecomer to the blockchain space and only a small fraction of all blockchain projects are energy-focused. However, activity is picking up quickly…

…unsurprisingly, most utilities do not enjoy the prospect of a future where their role is relegated to maintenance of the grid’s pipes and wires. Utilities have not been absent on the blockchain scene, but they also are not bankrolling the energy revolution. Although a handful of projects have been highly successful at raising capital (some through traditional fundraising methods and others through largely unregulated initial coin offerings), relatively little of the money flowing into the space comes from utilities. Some startups view utilities as competitors and believe that successful trials will generate momentum from the bottom up, prompting utilities to fall in line or fall off the map. Others see them as essential partners in bringing about an industrywide transformation to a more decentralized, distributed, and interconnected energy system. The latter model is the most likely to bring about real change—but both startups and utilities need to recognize the opportunities for collaboration and take advantage of them.

Source: https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/04/utilities-can-choose-whether-blockchain-is-a-threat-or-an-opportunity.html