Cryptowerk Presents at Blockchain in Energy and Mobility Conference
Cryptowerk’s head of product, Catherine Woneis, was invited to present at Cleantech Group’s invitation-only Blockchain in Energy and Mobility Summit this week, alongside speakers from Duke Energy, Electron, IBM, Innogy New Ventures, and Shell Tech Ventures, among others. The Summit, held on October 24th in New York City, aimed to replace hyped-up presentations on blockchain with a conference where real projects and impacts (or lack thereof) are discussed in an intimate and invite-only setting. Having covered early use cases extensively last year, the focus of this year’s Executive Summit is on how fast those use cases are bearing fruit.
Catherine’s presentation, “Scaling Blockchains, The Technical Aspects in Business Terms,” fit squarely in that theme.
In her talk, Catherine outlined how the ability to record every asset, transaction and energy flow in a way that is tamper-proof, verifiable and accessible to those who need that is becoming an urgent need in the energy industry. However, there are millions of data sets created from processes like:
- Authenticating renewables at the point of origin
- Keeping a record of emissions permits
- Peer-to-peer energy trading
- Big data modeling for Smart Cities
- Securing data from everything from meters to oil fields to odometers
Blockchains are emerging as a core technology for that task. However, transaction throughput and cost limitations of many blockchains limit their usefulness in high-scale applications. For example:
- Bitcoin only processes between 3.3 and 7 transactions per second.
- Ethereum processes around 15 transactions per second
To put it another way, Smart Contracts on Ethereum today run at about ~1kB/s, which is about as fast as acoustic couplers were in the 1970s (Wikipedia).
This results in throughput bottlenecks and rising costs for organizations trying to use today’s blockchains in high-volume applications, due to the fact that blockchain systems need to prioritize and balance three key aspects: decentralization, scalability and security. For example, Bitcoin and Ethereum were built to be highly decentralized and secure but sacrifice scalability, while most private blockchains were built to be highly scalable, but sacrifice decentralization and some security.
There are several efforts in the industry underway now to get around the throughput and transaction cost limitations of scaling blockchains for enterprise use. In her presentation, Catherine offers insights into these and the most promising methods for scaling blockchains for complex, high-volume applications in the energy industry and beyond.