Around the world banks and financial services companies are scrambling to come to terms with the changes that blockchain technology will mean for their industry. However, it is not only the financial sector that is effected. In Germany, for example, the energy industry is preparing to use blockchain technology.
In a recent study undertaken by dena and the European School of Management and Technology (Berlin), respondents reported that they are already looking at the potential uses of the technology, including for: trading platforms, billing, metering, mobility and network management. More than half of the executives surveyed indicated that they were already experimenting with the blockchain.
For more information about blockchain have a look at some of our previous posts.
Blockchain offers a unique way to exchange and store data directly with other parties and in a decentralised manner. It also allows for non-third party guaranteed transactions, or smart contracts, to be made directly between service providers and customers. While many people have heard of bitcoin–which is also based on blockchain technology–the far reaching implications of the technology have not been immediately understood, particularly in more traditional industry sectors.
In the German energy sector, the survey clearly indicates that many stakeholders see blockchain is the key to fundamental change in the market, in fields such as the optimisation of processes (such as billing, metering, mobility and network management), and trading platforms (such as in the field of decentralised power generation).
The actual shape of the future energy market will continue to develop over time, and key stakeholders will need to remain aware of the possibilities as well as consider the regulatory implications. At the same time, the study clearly shows that the potential of blockchain applications depends on the specific case basis. Competition is fierce and the cost reduction potential is limited in markets where there are already efficient digital solutions for the exchange of data–although this does not mean that these markets will not be forced to change. In new and emerging markets, however, blockchain has the potential to become the dominant technology. It can increase the efficiency of transactions and enable direct exchanges while at the same time reducing costs, for example during charging and billing transactions for e-vehicles.
A copy of the survey (in English) can be found here.