The hidden possibilities of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin in particular were unknown to the world 10 years ago. Nowadays, global corporations from various business sectors are interested in blockchain technology. It seems the next corporation to embrace this technology is Shell, the world’s 9th largest company. While private blockchain incorporation is popular for some time now, public blockchain usage is a rather new trend in the enterprise sector.
The business world was mainly centralized in nature before the recent development of cryptocurrency led to the popularization of decentralization and it seems that Shell sees potential in this shift away from centralization. Sabine Brink, Shell’s blockchain tech lead made their views clear:
“In general, decentralized technologies like blockchain create the opportunity to have a different view on the way we deal with data and algorithms. In a global energy system which must urgently decarbonize, we’ll see a move from centralized generation to distributed renewable assets. Blockchain technology could help manage this complex and decentralizing system by allowing customers to manage their own data, monetize their flexibility and automate the transactions needed to keep the lights on.”
Shell established a whole division with a task to navigate potential applications of the blockchain technology back in 2017. As Brink explained:
“Blockchain and AI are important emerging technologies in Shell. That’s why we have a dedicated team working on realizing the potential of the technology throughout Shell globally.”
In a statement from June 19, 2019 the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) announced the “the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector.” At the moment, the “Energy Web Chain”, also known as “EW Chain”, is advertised by more than 10 EWF affiliates who help run the network as validators.
As Brink noted, the affiliation between Shell and EWF is not something new, as they’ve been involved since EWF’s dawn:
“As one of the first affiliates of EWF, of course we are delighted that the chain is live. It’s a huge accomplishment which we are proud to be part of. It also means we will be able to use the chain in the production environment.”
Sabine Brink explained that Shell is observing several use cases that are in the area of mobility, digital twins and renewable energy, but “these use cases are in different stages of maturity.”
Shell recently announced their intentions to invest in LO3 Energy. The startup applies blockchain in improving the energy marketplace by enhancing it and including tracking clarity.