Several major energy firms are partnering on a new blockchain-based trading platform.
BP, Shell and Statoil are backing the platform, which represents the latest application of the tech to the energy space. The consortium of firms built around the platform also includes ING, ABN Amro and Societe Generale, as well as trading firms, Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading, and Mercuria.
The idea is that the blockchain-powered platform for energy trading will eventually be open to all market participants. Those involved in the effort say it will controlled by an independent entity, with a plan to be fully operational before the end of 2018.
The energy industry has become more complex as new entities have entered the industry, ING representative Carolien van der Giessen told CoinDesk in an email, explaining:
"Earlier this year another joint initiative among some members of the consortium (ING, Mercuria, and Societe Generale) presented compelling results with what we understand to be the first blockchain prototype test in the sector. The experiment involved an oil cargo shipment containing African crude oil which was on its way to China. The results of the experiment demonstrated that a blockchain based platform can greatly improve the efficiency of certain processes."
With several of the world's largest energy suppliers taking part, the hope is it will establish a platform that will attract market participants of all sizes to one platform.
There have been several experiments in using a blockchain to track energy trading, such as one by BP and Eni in gas trading, which Reuters reported this summer. Enel and E.on have also conducted trials using Ponton's blockchain platform, and o of Australia's largest electricity providers is currently testing a platform called Power Ledger.
Oil pump image via Shutterstock.