Chile Is Using Ethereum's Blockchain to Track Energy Data

The new energy minister has announced a project to commit a number of data sets to the public ledger, where they will be much harder to hack.

AccessTimeIconApr 9, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:48 a.m. UTC
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Chile will use ethereum's blockchain as a way to record energy sector statistics, its government announced Thursday.

The National Energy Commission, which is a part of the country's Energy Ministry, said it would commit data to the public ethereum ledger in order to "augment levels of security, integrity, traceability and confidence in the information available to the public," according to a statement.

The commission is particularly concerned that its databases can be hacked and manipulated. The ethereum-based approach represents an alternative method for data storage, given that distributing records among a large number of nodes helps to alleviate that concern.

The commission has already begun committing some data to the blockchain, including information about installed electricity-generating capacity, average market prices, marginal costs, hydrocarbon prices and compliance with laws requiring that renewables account for a certain share of electricity generation.

Following this first stage of the project, known as "Energia Abierta" or "Open Energy," the commission will study the results and share them with other companies and government bodies in the sector.

Susana Jimenez, Chile's energy minister, said in a statement:

"We are interested in taking this technology from a conceptual level to a concrete case, understanding that it's considered to be the most disruptive technology of the last decade by world-class experts, and that it could be part of day-to-day life in the next few years."

The commission's decision to use an open blockchain like ethereum as opposed to a so-called permissioned network stands out. The statement explained that having "hundreds of thousands of servers" authenticating the data makes it more trustworthy and difficult to alter.

Note: Statements in this article were translated from Spanish.

Power lines image via Shutterstock.

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