Energy Blockchain Consortium (EBC or The Consortium) has identified opportunities and challenges (also known as use cases) for ISO/RTOs to consider as possible areas to apply blockchain technology.
Blockchain enables development of applications with or without contracts and with or without any cryptocurrency. Not every application needs to provision buying or selling of products, digital assets or services. For example, some applications can secure data, optimize supply chain, reconcile financial transactions, report anomalies, provide compliance reports, manage assets, enable usage, or merely provide simple registration. Applications that implement contracts enable stakeholders to buy, sell or exchange assets and services based upon a pre-defined contract. Examples include buying or selling of an online product or service, company procurement of office supplies, spending management, selling a real estate property, enabling suppliers and buyers in a supply chain. Blockchain’s Smart Contract capability can be used to develop any application irrespective of whether there is a ‘legal’ contract to be implemented. Additionally, all use cases identified in this document do not require or depend on any cryptocurrency.
In its simpler form, a Blockchain Smart Contract is a computer program that implements a simple business logic to process a non-monetary business process. For example, verifying a user or a digital asset’s existence and authenticity. On the other extreme, Blockchain Smart Contract could be used to implement a sophisticated settlement and payment distribution system.
EBC has identified 16 categories of use cases for ISOs/RTOs that have been grouped into near-term and long-term opportunities. The former is a set of near-term opportunities that ISOs could consider whereas the latter are related to longer-term opportunities for ISOs. Intentionally, we have not provided any hard definition of near-term or long-term timeframes, as both terms are relative for each ISO. However, near-term generally refers to the first set of opportunities that each ISO should consider, by establishing their own priorities and timelines. Each category of use case can have a few sub categories of use cases. Overall this catalog provides about 50 such use cases grouped under 16 categories as significant opportunities for ISOs to customize the use of Blockchain to meet their individual needs. We do however anticipate that in CY 2020, each ISO will embark on at-least one or two such near-term opportunities using Blockchain technology. We also anticipate that many of the use cases identified in this catalog will be customized to support each ISO’s individual needs.