Blockchain and the Future of Energy

Share

North American Clean Energy | Jul 15, 2018

Blockchain is coming to the energy world and its impact will be massive. It will accelerate the transition to renewables and give us real and immediate ways to combat global warming, incentivize the production of renewable energy, and replace fossil fuels.

What is blockchain?

If you’ve heard of Bitcoin, blockchain is the technology that powers it. Blockchain allows data to be recorded on a distributed ledger in a way that cannot be changed.

Why does it matter?

The key benefit of blockchain as a technology is that it enables parties that do not know each other or trust each other to do business together and still feel secure.  Applications running on the blockchain can take advantage of smart contracts that trigger certain events (for example, payment) when particular milestones are met – so long as some form of proof is presented that a particular milestone has been met.

More:  Blockchain has the potential to do amazing things, but it needs a reboot

Together, blockchain as a technology, and the advent of smart contracts running on it, have the potential to change everything, much the same way that internet technology changed everything in the late 90s.  In this analogy, Bitcoin is a lot like the Mosaic/Netscape browser. It’s an example of the dramatic and disruptive effects of blockchain technology:  “Look, Ma! Instead of government issuing currency, a non-profit foundation can issue its own currency and have the market determine its value!” Bitcoin is only the beginning of the many changes blockchain will deliver.

How will it change the energy markets?

In the energy sector, we expect blockchain to have a massive impact. After all, the future of energy lies in renewable energy technology. And unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy relies on a set of assets that are more dispersed. In the future, many more businesses will find it advantageous to produce their own energy and consume it.  Already, prosumers are finding it advantageous to put a renewable energy power plant on their roof of their homes – in the form of solar panels.  These trends will be accelerated by the availability of low-cost battery technologies designed for both industrial and consumer use. Demand response and load management will also be key to building power plants to get to 100% renewable.

A distributed model

Power markets are moving from a centralized model to more distributed model. The fundamental conditions required to make distributed power markets work well are:

  • automated production and consumption tracking
  • validation
  • payments
  • transparency
  • incentives
  • security

These improvements will require a distributed, self-organizing system that reduces friction, routes around regulatory obstacles, and connects fractured markets.

That’s whyblockchain is key. The distributed nature of blockchain provides an unprecedented level of trust and transparency. This enables businesses to feel confident in transactions that require a high degree of trust. Breachingthe security of a central database is one thing – trying to fool a decentralized, global network of databases is almost impossible. The result is a reduced need for middlemen, faster transactions, and lower expenses than traditional centralized models.

See:  How Blockchain is Impacting Canadian Fintech Markets

We’ve seen the impact of thisalready with cryptocurrency; Bitcoin and blockchain solved the double spending problem (i.e. spending the same digital currency twice) by ensuring distributed consensus. As a result, cryptocurrencies can be spent internationally in seconds, at low transaction fees, while working around normal third-party middlemen like banks. This has roiled the financial industry. Get ready for the same thing to happen in energy.

A fundamental shift

Blockchain will enable a fundamental shift in the distribution of energy by enabling people to trade energy among themselves. This will stimulate more renewable energy projects and accelerate the transition away from carbon-emitting electricity generation. Tokenization will allow producers to seamlessly connect with investors.

As a result, we’ll gain the ability to openly and securely verify/track/exchange energy and related data. This will strip away inefficiencies in existing markets and create brand new markets as well. Peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading marketplaces will use blockchain to create an immutable, open, and secure, decentralized record of transactions.

The resultwill beautomated processes and transactions, significantly reduced costs, and inherently trustworthy sources of verified data. Also worth mentioning: Enabling data-driven investments will includetraditional utilities, not destroy them. They will allow smart cities, municipalities, city planners, and communities to adopt new technology and cooperate to reduce climate change, provide cleaner and cheaper energy, and create a more secure power grid.

Benefits

Some examples of how blockchain will help the energy sector...

Open up markets

The ability to aggregate and exchange secure and trusted data opens carbon offset markets to the approximately 90% of carbon emissions not covered under existing programs.

Eliminate middleman fees

People who have rooftop solar systems often have to pay a hefty fee to the utility company. The blockchain will eliminate these fees.

Improve reporting

The current reporting system is flawed; data is often self-reported (“I made four kilowatts” or “I hired a consultant.”). Plus, it's very expensive. Instead of going to a utility and just sitting there, data will be immutable, open, and verified.

More:  WEF’s Sheila Warren: blockchain is the door to new digital reality

Reduce waste

The blockchain will minimize fraudulent energy production data. By capturing immutable proof of energy production, running open-source estimators to verify, and layering in blockchain to enhance security and trust, this challenge can be solved in a relatively low-cost, low-touch way. This not only cuts down on bad actors and bad data, but also creates a more robust incentive market by improving trust and accuracy.

Fix renewable energy incentives

Incentive programs have been around for decades, but they’re plagued by fraud, and ineffective at addressing the core issue of carbon emissions. Additionally, these programs tend to be location-specific, relatively complex to participate in, and onerous to administer. Blockchain, smart meter, and “oracle” technologies will establish a more trusted, efficient, and effective system for tracking and rewarding carbon displacement via renewable energy production.

Reduce shipments

Blockchain will help create an increasingly decentralized logistics processes (compared to today’s highly centralized version). The ability to administer even the smallest shipments at minimal cost translates into a reduction in shipments. This, in turn, will lessen the need to pool everything together in big warehouses.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

Click for News:

 

Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
Read More
Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
Read More
$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
Read More
Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
Read More
Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
Read More
What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 

Share