As the revolutionary technology that underpins most developments in cryptocurrency, blockchain has already been proven to have many applications outside of the world of finance. With recent innovations in science, ecommerce, and even the music industry relying upon the immutable and decentralised nature of blockchain’s transaction records, it seems there is almost no sector that cannot benefit from the technology.
Even the energy industry is starting to take note.
Some months ago, a story was published by GreenTech Media concerning 15 new energy companies that were dabbling in blockchain. Some of those companies generated their funding through ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), chief among them Grid+ who, during a sale of their tokens in November 2017, managed to raise an astonishing 94,070 Ethereum, 570.5 Bitcoin, and $125,000 in hard cash. Quite the achievement.
The company is in the process of developing a software and hardware solution that will result in a secure gateway enabled by the Ethereum cryptocurrency, which will connect IoT (Internet of Things) devices to one another. The purpose of such an enterprise? The hardware gateway will act as a secure store of a user’s Ethereum tokens that will process payments for electricity and other energy supplies in real-time. The net result of this is that a client can arrange for their various household appliances to run when the cost of energy is at its lowest, with the gateway settling their bill at point of use from their cache of Ethereum tokens.
Meanwhile, European company WePower has begun blockchain operations on an even larger scale, rolling out a platform that it intends to tokenise the energy output of an entire country: Estonia. The blockchain system allows green energy enterprises to sell contracts based on forecast future production using their companies own digital tokens which has the potential to raise the necessary funding for such projects through a host of smaller investors.
Whilst these companies may be using blockchain in a slightly different manner to the altcoins, the fundamentals remain unchanged and only prove the flexibility of the technology behind it all.