As the uses of Blockchain continue to be explored in almost every sector and field, the potentially disruptive technology is gaining interest from the energy industry, with businesses piloting blockchain solutions in search of cost-savings and other non-financial benefits. Sputnik spoke to two leading experts to find out more.
Businesses in the energy sector are not only keenly watching progress and breakthroughs in the development of blockchain, but are also seeking out driving roles to broaden the technology’s applications in their industry, to gain an edge over their rivals.
In January, multinational energy giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC acquired a stake in a London-based blockchain startup, which is researching innovative new adoptions of the technology in numerous strategic sectors.
Other energy heavyweights have opted to partner with blockchain innovators to assess the uses of the technology in their daily operations.
BP, Eni and Wien Energie successfully conducted a pilot project with the BTL Group – which is at the forefront of blockchain development via its cutting-edge Interbit.io platform – in 2017, to gauge the uses and benefits of blockchain specifically to the oil sector.
BTL’s CEO Dominic McCann spoke to Sputnik reporter and columnist Suliman Mulhem about the uses of blockchain outside of the cryptocurrency sphere, outlining the key distinction between the two.
“Blockchain stretches far beyond the box of cryptocurrencies which are just one example of the technology working successfully. It is important to separate the two, as blockchain can survive without cryptocurrencies, but cryptocurrencies cannot survive without blockchain. Blockchain is a fundamental foundation technology, which is why we have built our own blockchain platform Interbit, designed specifically to meet the demands of enterprise,” Mr. McCann told Sputnik.
He said blockchain will “absolutely” be widely adopted in the oil industry within the next decade, and outlined its benefits.
“Upon completion of our OneOffice application for the energy market, we believe there’ll be widespread adoption within the industry, as applications built on our Interbit blockchain can streamline back office processes, resulting in significant cost savings and providing greater protection against cybercrime. Blockchain makes an operation more secure.”
He went on discuss how the technology can increase the operational efficiency of oil and natural gas companies by using the example of a pipeline utilizing blockchain.
“An organization or business can use it to monitor pipelines equipped with connected sensors, communicating in a secure and reliable way with one another, updating readings on volume, temperature and flow pressure automatically, in real time over a platform that doesn’t rely on a costly central IT infrastructure to broker information,” Mr. McCann added.
Another blockchain innovator, the CEO and founder of Finboot.io, Juan Miguel Perez, explained that the energy industry’s blockchain revolution will not only cut operational costs, but could potentially open new avenues for additional revenue streams.
“The possibility to optimize the back-office and to remove expensive intermediaries marks a turning point in this area. Additionally, the possibility to create new financial instruments and trades leveraging the technology paints an exciting picture for our near future,” Mr. Miguel Perez told Sputnik.
The technology also has uses in renewable energy and cleantech, according to Finboot’s CEO.
“Power generation and consumption is set out for Blockchain disruption too. But a few more players come into place; on one side we have the improved efficiency of renewables, and the other we have the combination of IoT and Blockchain to create a new paradigm of power generation and consumption. IoT brings us Smart meters and sensors, and Blockchain brings us the capacity to securely operate and exchange value with these devices,” he concluded.