A new year for blockchain: from hype to reality

News Article

In December 2018, Eurelectric brought together representatives from diverse consortia of utilities, start-ups and various experts to discuss concrete blockchain related projects emerging within the electricity landscape. Scalability, governance, user experience and data protection. These topics are at the top of the 2019 agenda. 

When last May Eurelectric released its series of white papers “Blockchain in Electricity”, 270 fund-raising initial coin offerings had already received investments of €5 billion in just one quarter. 2018 was filled with anticipation, positive forecasts, and even hype of rapid adoption and transformation of industries and the society.

Blockchain applications in the energy sector have been gaining momentum as more proof of concepts are deployed successfully around Europe, attesting to a fundamental interest that goes beyond the cryptocurrency hypes and dives. This translates into dozens of partnerships between energy incumbents and start-ups, from of blockchain-enabled trading platforms to renewable energy certification and grid balancing.

As blockchain seems to take the leap from hype to reality, Eurelectric stays ahead of the curve by launching the second phase of its Blockchain Discussion Platform. It gathers participants from utilities, start-ups and various experts, setting the scene for reviewing the state of blockchain in the electricity market, discussing regulatory initiatives and sharing experiences on specific use cases, as well as broader infrastructures and ecosystems.

How will 2019 unfold? Blockchain proponents anticipate greater collaboration and experience sharing.

“The energy sector will benefit from maturing blockchain infrastructure and use cases linking electricity with other industries: mobility, financial services, energy services and real estate, and even energy-efficient computing,” says Zdenek Pekarek, independent advisor for the Eurelectric Blockchain Platform.

However, the technology has to mature before the more robust vision becomes reality. For that to happen, some key requirements need to be tackled and met: scalability of transactions, consensus and governance, user experience and data protection, integration with the existing regulatory requirements and monitoring of the future European legislation.

These are most likely to be on the horizon for this year, which sees the dust of the hype storm on blockchain settle and real applications race into the picture. With various initiatives from the Blockchain Discussion Platform on the way, Eurelectric stands ready for this bright New Year.