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Blockchain & the Future of Energy

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Robert Trinnear's picture
Managing Director, East The Energy Authority

Mr. Trinnear is a widely respected expert in risk management and financial derivatives with two decades of energy industry experience. He brings invaluable strategic insight to The Energy...

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  • Jan 21, 2019 9:15 pm GMT
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Change can be challenging. Countless dollars are spent on projects trying to affect incremental changes, often with disappointing results. Blockchain is a foundational technology that has created a high level of excitement from its potential to propel successful, constructive change. The prospective uses of this technology are positioned to transform organizations. A key component to Blockchain is its ability to function as a bridge to establish trust. Consider all the trust deficits we face in our daily life and the intermediaries we utilize in order to fill those voids. The potential to disrupt those intermediaries, to reduce the friction in our systems, and ultimately reduce the cost of transactions now exists with the advent of Blockchain.

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Look to the development of the internet as a marker for what impact this new technology can have on our economic and social systems. Much like the advancement that Blockchain will entail, the adoption of the internet as we now know it required social changes; for example, the willingness to order something from a virtual vendor without touching or trying it out prior to purchase. Today, this service, which was initially met with skepticism, has grown exponentially and integrated into everyday life, forcing businesses, and even industries, to adapt. We will see this occurrence with the implementation of Blockchain as well.

Blockchain technology has the capability to be as impactful as the internet by driving down the cost of transactions, just as the internet has driven down the cost of connections. Consider how much has changed in response to the evolution of the internet and the companies that embraced those changes, like Amazon. Think about how the business models and spheres of influence have changed since the emergence of the internet. In a similar fashion, new business models and spheres of influence will appear as Blockchain technology progresses. We can utilize current projects in the energy, financial, logistics, and international aid fields to illustrate problems that can be solved using Blockchain technology. The Energy Authority’s current Blockchain project demonstrates tangible impacts that this technology can have on reducing the cost of transactions in the energy trading industry.

In order to reach the full potential of Blockchain technology, we must be willing to look at and think about things differently, and be open to change. We need to adapt our mindset and embrace the opportunities presented by this technology. We need to think about what problems we can solve with Blockchain technology and how our business models may need to evolve in order to realize the opportunity at hand.

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Len Rosen's picture
Len Rosen on Jan 22, 2019

Hi Robert, The potential of blockchain as a revolutionary way to handle transactions through a distributed ledger is theoretically exciting. But until the energy issue associated with blockchain transactions gets resolved I am convinced that it will play only a peripheral role. The other issue, feeds and speeds, also keeps blockchain in the "nice to have" category of technological innovations.

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