Is blockchain an overhyped tool for Asia’s energy transition?

(Eco Business, 30 Sep 2019) Blockchain is already used in energy projects from South Africa to Singapore, but questions linger over its significance in the transition to clean energy. What was the final word when six industry experts came together for an animated debate over its potential?

Branded as a revolution when it was launched in the early 1990s, the Apple Newton MessagePad personal digital assistant turned out to be a disappointment, but helped pave the way for the hugely successful iPhone and iPad.

And while smart eyewear could today be said to be overhyped, the technology could prove itself in future.

The same thing could be said about blockchain and its use in the transition of the energy sector from fossil fuels to renewables, a topic that was heatedly debated by industry experts at an event in Singapore in September.

Widely heard of but little understood, blockchain has been hailed by its advocates as a gamechanger for society and the economy, but dismissed as largely unnecessary by sceptics.

Blockchains are special data management systems that record and store information securely using virtual technology called cryptography.

A blockchain is a growing file of data entries that are stored on the computers of participating players instead of a central server. New entries or transactions are added by consensus in an automated approval process among the computers, blockchain governance expert Viktor Peter explained in Blockchain Meets Energy, a report published in June by the German-Mexican Energy Partnership and Florence School of Regulation.

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Eco Business, 30 Sep 2019: Is blockchain an overhyped tool for Asia’s energy transition?