科技和互联网

人类最好的交易工具

基于区块链技术的软件产品可能是目前人类最好的交易工具,因为它主要的特性是去中心化的,加密的,历史完备的。当前最火的网络主题是比特币,而比特币是基于去中心化的区块链技术的数字加密货币,目前一个比特币的价值已经到超过5000美金,虽然把比特币等于货币,被政府和人们接受,为时尚早,然而区块链技术本身的优良的特性,将会被很好地应用于我们人类的相关交易活动中。

区块链技术最大的优点是去中心化,就是交易历史等相关信息不需要中心的服务器来存储,每个区块链本身就可以存储它们。那么顺着这个思路,如果人类的一些商业行为,本身也是去中心化的,或者也可以改造成去中心化的,都可以运用区块链技术,来让交易更加灵活和安全,如果我们不考虑监管的话。这就是一个非常好的例子,世界上有许多生产能量的大工厂大公司,也有许多有特殊要求的能量需求客户,这个创业公司计划把二者按点对点的交易方式直接对接起来,以特定的数字货币进行交易,给能量市场的交易行为带来更大的灵动性,并且可以去除过多的中间环节,降低到最终用户的能量价格,甚至可以实现能量的期货交易。鉴于这个案例,对于现有的各种商业模式,利用区块链技术优化,带来费用的节省成本的降低, 新的商业机会将会源源不断的出现。

原文链接:https://www.fastcompany.com/

抄录:

This Blockchain-Based Energy Platform Is Building A Peer-To-Peer Grid

By Ben Schiller,

“The end goal is to produce a true peer to peer energy platform, where people would sell renewable energy and also be able to get energy back from the grid.”
Photo by: Photo: Sebastian Kanczok
Residential solar customers are already used to selling power back to the grid. When their rooftop panels produce more electricity than is needed at any time, they can send the energy to the wider network and gain a credit on their utility bill in return. That process is called net metering. In the future, however, this process may seem somewhat controlled and anachronistic. Instead, we may sell power not only to utility companies but to each other.

That’s the vision of a European startup called WePower. The operative innovation behind the project is the blockchain, the decentralized ledger technology that first came to prominence as a way to track and record bitcoin transactions. Blockchains have since been adapted to trade all kinds of digital assets from loyalty points and insurance contracts to electrons.

WePower is yet to launch, but its proposition is radical. On one side, it’s gathering together producers of renewable energy, including solar, wind and hydro plants. On the other, it’s signing up investors who pay upfront for the right to consume electricity generated by those plants. To do this, it’s created its own cryptocurrency, a token called WPR. Each token represents one kilowatt-hour of power produced and are themselves tradable on the platform.

 

“We’re changing how renewable energy plants are financed,” says cofounder Arturas Asakavicius in an interview. “Currently if you want to finance a set of renewable energy plants, either you have to go to a bank and take on debt, or you go to an investor and issue securities. In our solution, producers are selling energy upfront in the form of a token.”

WePower is essentially a platform for mini initial coin offerings (ICOs). ICOs are a mix between crowdfunding and conventional equity IPOs, where instead of issuing debt, equity, or perks (as on Kickstarter), companies issue coins or tokens instead. These cryptocurrencies purchase either ownership in the startup or some form of participation in the future business (like the right to buy its products).

The ICO mechanism has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for startups this year, eclipsing the value of the traditional early-stage venture capital market. The space is currently largely unregulated and could be headed for a major “correction” according to many observers. But, in the long term, it could also be an important financial innovation, one that allows companies and everyday investors to collaborate more directly, without today’s intermediaries and gatekeepers.

As well as orchestrating mini-ICOs on WePower, the company itself plans an ICO this November. The aim is to raise up to $30 million–money that will go towards building the platform and providing financial guarantees to the energy producers listing on the system. The platform stands behind collateral payments buyers put up as a promise that they will honor contracts as they come due. WePower plans to go live nine months after the ICO is completed in mid-November.

The founders say WePower will offer electricity contracts at a lower price than on the conventional market. In Spain, WePower’s launch market, they estimate that one megawatt-hour will cost $39-$40 per unit against a standard wholesale price of $47 per unit. That would be a 17% saving and the unit itself would be tradable, meaning you could sell on the token if the price was rising (say, because there was a shortage of renewable power available at any time).

By tokenizing renewable energy and putting it onto a blockchain, WePower is making that power tradable and accessible to anyone. And it’s giving people more control. In effect, people taking contracts on WePower become their own energy traders, substituting for the role utilities play in buying and selling power on our behalf. Instead of showing the price set by a utility, their bills will show the price they’ve negotiated on the platform. (Households will, however, still have to pay the cost of grid transmission and distribution.)

There’s been a lot of interest in blockchain technology in the energy industry and several early-stage projects have already emerged. LO3 Energy has launched a blockchain-based microgrid in Brooklyn. Power Ledger has several blockchain pilot projects in Australia. Drift has launched a blockchain-based utility in New York. And a host of companies are involved with the Energy Web Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by the Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, an Austrian blockchain developer focused on energy applications.

“The increasingly decentralized nature of energy production will see the grid become more decentralized and the nature of the blockchain means the two developments will go hand in hand,” says Nick Martyniuk, another WePower cofounder. “The end goal is to produce a true peer to peer energy platform, where people would sell renewable energy and also be able to get energy back from the grid.”

In the beginning, WePower plans to work mostly with larger energy producers. It claims already to have 1 gigawatt of capacity lined up with three solar plants in Spain. In the longer term, it wants smaller scale producers to come onboard, including homeowners who just want to sell excess power from their personal solar panels that they don’t need. The vision is for a co-operative, flattened-out electricity system, where homes both consume and provide power depending on the need, with all transactions recorded in a decentralized ledger. Such a system could drive down the cost of power dramatically, though, given the highly regulated nature of the industry, it may take several years to come to full fruition.

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