Among the six new companies added to the MouseBelt blockchain accelerator last week, one stands out from the standard fare of crypto exchanges and startups: California power provider PG&E.
The San Francisco-based utility company – which, by most measures, is the largest in the U.S. – said it is researching use cases for blockchain technology and looking for “collaboration opportunities” through the MouseBelt Blockchain Education Alliance.
“It is a good way to interact with other companies to see what they are doing and observe research around blockchain and to build relations,” Eban Hamdani, a senior product manager at PG&E, said in an interview.
PG&E is hoping to tap the accelerator network for talent specializing in blockchain technology, he added.
“We’ve explored two use cases,” Hamdani said, adding that PG&E has no immediate plans for a blockchain rollout.
The MouseBelt initiative, which was launched in October 2019, tries to link corporate blockchain projects with researchers, students and new protocols.
Mastercard, Stellar, ING Bank, Rolls-Royce and the incubator arms of Binance and Ripple are among the companies that also belong to the association. In addition to PG&E, CoinGecko, OKCoin, ShapeShift, Band Protocol and Switzerland’s Crypto Valley Association are the latest to join.
Adam Leon, MouseBelt’s vice president of partnerships, said it’s no surprise that even utility companies such as PG&E are interested in supporting blockchain education.
“Through programs like ours, they can source highly skilled talent, identify opportunities for innovative research and support cutting-edge projects that will ultimately provide advanced solutions to their major internal pain points” Leon said.