Austrian Energy Supplier Testing Blockchain-Based Products
Austria’s largest energy supplier, is experimenting with a range of blockchain use cases in commodity trading, which will then be incorporated in their services.
Blockchain is a continuously growing distributed database of records, that stock transactions or other data, making use of cryptography to link and secure the information in the records (blocks). This process of recording transactions does not require an intermediary and the data cannot be altered or modified.
These advantages appeal to the energy industry, which has to deal with complex transactions between big and small producers and consumers.
Wien Energy already supplies 2 million retail and 235, 000 commercial customers.
Chief Innovation Officer Astrid Schober told Reuters that:
“We are testing blockchain-based services in Vienna’s Viertel Zwei and once we have collected enough experience there, we will develop business models and bring them to the market.”
“It may be overoptimistic but services may become available this year as we are trying to be active and build the know-how in our company fast,” she added.
Those services could include electric car stations that are connected via the technology, as well as those around land registry and power supply among others.
Wien Energy has tested blockchain technology before in its commodity trading operations, and Schober suggested that the company does not want to be left behind when it comes to technology.
“If the technology means there are no more intermediaries anymore, it becomes an issue for us, so we are actively looking into other business models,” Schober said.
Wien Energy is also part of Enerchain, a group comprised out of 35 European utilities which are participating in tests to produce a trading platform for electricity and gas, where B2B trading will eventually take place.
The energy industry has shown an increasing interest in blockchain and its use cases, and more and more key figures of the industries are investing in the integration of this technology.