BTL Group, the US/Canada blockchain builder, is working with a group of energy companies, including Wien Energie GmbH, Austria's largest regional energy company, on a blockchain pilot using BTL's Interbit platform.
BTL recently announced it was working on cross border remittances with Visa Europe Collab. The energy project is to demonstrate how BTL's technology can drive down costs associated with energy trading, said a statement.
Guy Halford-Thompson, chief executive officer and co-founder of BTL said, "We are very excited about working on this project with a number of major energy companies, including Wien Energie, a large and well-established European energy provider. The experience and expertise we expect to acquire from this pilot will be in addition to the knowledge we have obtained from our past work with leading energy companies. By commencing this project we are one step closer to live application of Interbit in the energy sector."
Peter Gönitzer, managing director at Wien Energie, said: "With the pilot project now being launched, we are able to build up know-how in the blockchain area with our partners and test the new technology for its opportunities and benefits. We also want to analyse how new business models can arise from this. Through different experimental arrangements with the technology, new insights into the use of blockchain in the energy business are to be gained and possible process optimization and cost savings are to be explored."
Wien Energie's chairman, Michael Strebl added: "Blockchain technology is a further digitisation trend in the energy industry. As Austria's largest energy service provider, we want to actively make use of the technology and its chances for our customers and us."
This pilot project is being supported by global consultancy firm EY and is expected to run for three months, from March to May 2017, after which further commercial strategies will be assessed, the statement said.
Andreas Freitag, manager at EY Austria, said: "The energy industry should actively deal with blockchain technology. The impact on existing processes and markets could be enormous. Now is a good time to test the technology and adjust the company to the upcoming changes. With EY playing a critical role in the pilot, led by BTL, we are able to get to know the technology and to assess the future potential even better. At the end of the project, we will be a step further to assess how Interbit will affect the energy industry."
Halford-Thompson added: "The energy industry has a complex ecosystem with a myriad of business lines from raw material exploration to electricity generation and delivery. Currently, record keeping and data management are incredibly cumbersome leading to costly mistakes when it comes to trading energy products and tracking asset ownership.
"From the work we have done so far, we have demonstrated how the Interbit platform can vastly improve existing infrastructures. We believe this project we are undertaking with some of the world's largest energy companies will further prove how our blockchain technology can increase efficiencies and lead to considerable cost savings for energy companies."