Blockchain: Unblocking its chains (Part 2/2)

 

Read Part 1/2 here

 

Who are the brave ones who have tried out Blockchain?
BP and Eni have implemented a blockchain-based trading application alongside their existing live trading platform to execute energy trades. Vattenfall will introduce blockchain technology to trial peer-to-peer energy trading. During the proof of concept, Vattenfall will learn more about the blockchain technology, and find out whether a decentralised solution can match existing trading platforms when it comes to trading volumes and transactional speed, but at a lower cost.

 

Opinions?
Each deal causes transaction costs and has to be processed in the trading, reporting and controlling systems. Once traders are able to apply blockchain technology in energy markets, they will be able to operate more efficiently and at lower transaction costs. Axel Von Perfall, Head of Innovation and Tech­nology, PwC, Germany, commented on the potential of blockchain to accelerate the growth of distributed generation. He said: "There has been a lot of talk about cutting out the middle-man, which, in the energy sector, is the utility. Blockchain technology can really change the energy business. At its core, it's a technology that allows direct communication and direct trading between different counter-parties. It will take care of the settlement of the transaction, billing and payment. It will be a radically simplified vision of the energy world."

 

Ewald Hesse,Vice President of EWF Austria, pointed out, however, that challenges remain: "The big problem we have in the energy market is that there are over 300 communication protocols. A big task of the EWF will be to open-source all those protocols. We are looking at it like Google; translation is free and it should be the same here. We have to bring together all the stakeholders and ask them their requirements and expectations of the core technology and then fund these core technology developments."

“It is certainly early days for the blockchain: some compare it to the internet in the early 1990s, so growing pains are sure to follow.”

The future
Blockchain-related job adverts surge: Number of postings on LinkedIn more than trebles in the past year. Experts say demand for blockchain expertise is far outstripping supply, making it one of the hottest areas for technology recruitment. According to Jerry Cuomo, IBM’s vice-president of blockchain technologies, “there is an entirely new way for businesses to interact — it is awesome and as this takes root it will be revolutionary.” It is certainly early days for the blockchain: some compare it to the internet in the early 1990s, so growing pains are sure to follow.

 

How does Blockchain work?
For those unfamiliar with blockchain technology, here's how it works:

  1. Someone wants to send money, ship a product, or sign a contract

  2. They send notification of the action to everyone in the neighborhood (which can be global)

  3. If the transaction is valid, everyone approves it

  4. After approval, the record is updated (in this case, a block is added to the blockchain)

  5. The action happens, and, if it's a payment, the money changes hands

  6. An unchangeable record remains of the transaction

 

Read Part 1/2 here

Learn more about Blockchain at ETOT, taking place on the 7-9 November 2017 in London, UK

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