For many observing and participating in the crypto industry, conversations that include “blockchain” and “energy” often revolve around the resources required to mine proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin and their environmental impact.
In many ways, this is for good reason: Much of Bitcoin’s mining is done using cheap, coal-powered electricity in China. While initiatives like Soluna’s wind-powered mining farm provide a more sustainable path forward, energy consumption and waste remains a challenge for the proof-of-work crypto community — but this is only one of the ways that the blockchain and energy industries intersect.
For the past several years, there has been speculation into blockchain technology’s ability to actually make the energy sector more efficient. The energy sector today is a highly transactional and complex system with multiple sources, suppliers, distributors and middlemen, and several crypto startups have emerged to streamline existing processes and create new functionality. Areas of opportunity include commodities trading, peer-to-peer energy trading, elimination of middlemen retailers, data management, accounting and automation.