UK Startup Electron Pushing Blockchain to Nation’s Energy Sector

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London-based startup Electron says they want to convince the energy sector to take a good hard look at Blockchain technology to unlock commercialisation opportunities for future services they can run run on a decentralized infrastructure platform.

Taking a different, top down approach to their strategy than most Blockchain startups, Electron is aiming at the incumbent players in the market to drive innovation at the top – rather than angling at peer to peer localised energy trading using solar such as other Blockchain energy startups like LO3 Energy (Transactive Grid) in the USA and Powerledger in Australia – which allow for residents to trade renewable energy.

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Techcrunch reports that Electron has built a demo platform on the Ethereum blockchain, and added simulated data from 53 million metering points and 60 energy suppliers as a dummy representation of the UK energy market — using that to run tests which it claims show such a platform would enable energy supplier switches to be executed up to 20x faster than current switching rates.

From the article by Natasha Lomas  Techcrunch:

“The energy market is built on technology that mostly is around 25 or 35 years out of date. It’s been built up over a period of time — it’s a hodgepodge of different systems. And it tends to be driven more by regulators than for example the financial services industry is,” he says, arguing that blockchain in particular could provide “a lot of very helpful benefits for this industry”.

“The financial services industry is incredibly focused on this, in large part because of one of their core functions is acting as a custodian of record. [But] the energy industry don’t see that as one of their USPs… [Yet it’s also] a highly competitive, heavily regulated industry operating over a shared infrastructure.”

The London-based startup, which was founded at the end of 2015, has raised around £400,000 (~$500k) in pre-seed funding from private investors to date, as well as securing two Innovate UK grants (totaling £150k) to develop its technology.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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