Blockchain—the latest disruptive technology facing electric cooperatives—does not
generate, store or control the flow of electric power. It is not a piece of hardware like a solar
panel or a lithium-ion battery.
Blockchain exists as a software-based technology that offers a financial platform for
individuals to buy and sell goods and services. Some energy market participants see
blockchain as a means to “elbow the utility aside,” putting more power in the hands of
consumers. Others see it as a useful tool—alongside other technologies and components
that make up the palette of “transactive energy”—for allowing solar, battery storage and
other distributed energy resources to become more productive grid assets.
Outside of the energy marketplace, blockchain has become known as a new means to
execute financial transactions, most famously through the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Through
unique architecture and construction, the digital technology permits direct and secure
financial transactions between individuals without going through an established third-party
intermediary, such as a bank.
Using cryptography to keep exchanges secure, blockchain provides a decentralized
database, or “digital ledger,” of transactions that everyone on the network can see. All of a
network—essentially a chain of computers—must all approve an exchange before it can be
verified and recorded.
Read the full report from CFC.