Blockchain, Energy Use Draws Senate Attention

Blockchain gets scrutiny on all sides, and in one looming examination, the United States Senate will examine the impact blockchain has on the energy ecosystem — specifically, how it affects the use of electricity.

Cointelegraph reports that the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is set to hold a hearing next Tuesday (Aug. 21), on the “Energy Efficiency of Blockchain and Similar Technologies.” The focus will be on both how the technology might be used in the energy industry and whether “we should expect electricity prices to increase from [the] rising electricity demand in blockchain applications.”

Beyond that, the hearing will also look into the ways blockchain can help improve the online security of computer systems that are linked to the energy system itself. Cointelegraph did note that the hearing will involve the full committee, and it marks the first hearing where the focus will be on the energy industry.  Past hearings surrounding blockchain and cryptos have centered on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and use along supply chains.

Energy Manager Today reported on Thursday (Aug. 16) that “combining the grid system with blockchain, ICOs and IoT is inevitable.” Through that continuum of devices, infrastructure and monitoring, algorithms are able to detect where energy (or other resources) might be needed and can ensure that they are deployed in real time.

In reference to the use of blockchain within the energy sphere, CBS Marketwatch reported earlier this month that the “blockchain in energy market” is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 78 percent between 2018 and 2023, increasing its value to as much as $7.1 billion.  The private segment will likely be the fastest growing subsegment there. In terms of regional concentration, Asia Pacific will be the biggest market in 2023.

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