In a high-level hearing led by the US Senate Committee in Washington DC, discussing ‘Energy efficiency of blockchain and similar technologies’ on 21 August 2018, US Senate eventually concluded that blockchain technology in building energy solutions is indeed advantageous. The key personnel present during the meeting were Lisa Murkowski, Maria Cantwell, and a witness panel consisting of 5 members from the various technical domains such as computer science, cybersecurity, power generation, and environment.

The core purpose of the meeting was to explore what blockchain-based applications can offer to the energy sector in terms of efficiency and cyber security. Another crucial aspect heard during the meeting was how cost-efficient the integration of blockchain technology with energy solutions would be.

From among the witness panel, Arvind Narayanan, associate professor of computer science at Princeton University, talked about the potential applications of blockchain in trading electricity from unused resources. He talked a power trading solution linked to a public ledger that would allow non-conventional sources of power generation like solar or win energy grids, and trade it in a peer-to-peer fashion.

Incidentally, similar to what Prof. Narayanan proposed during the hearing, is already being executed by researchers from Fudan University in China, who are building a blockchain-based energy exchange solution for solar grids.

Fortifying Prof. Narayanan’s imagination of blockchain-based energy solutions, Claire Henly – Managing Director of Energy Web Foundation – envisaged the utility of blockchain in creating a much more transparent and efficient energy market.

Thomas A. Golden, program manager for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), talked about the role of blockchain technology in incarnating the idea of transactive energy, pertaining to which, the organization has also created an awareness wing ‘Utility Blockchain Awareness Group.’

The United States, in the past couple of years, has been more responsive towards the nationwide calls to regulate the crypto market. And while the government has put up no barriers in the way of enterprises adopting or building blockchain solutions, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is quite meticulous about bringing cryptocurrencies to mainstream financial systems, which is why it rejected all nine proposals filed by ProShares, Direxion, and GraniteShares to trade Bitcoin as ETFs on the grounds of cybersecurity.


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