New Dentons publication on Blockchain in the Energy sector

By: Adam Brown

The latest issue of Dentons Global Energy Game Changers – Blockchain in the energy sector: evolving business models and law – is now live on the Dentons website (click here to see a copy). This is the first time that we have focused on a single issue (rather than a geographic region or a cluster of industry developments) in one of these volumes. Blockchain seemed a good place to start this new approach, because I have yet to find a corner of the energy industry where people aren’t talking about it.

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking very warmly all those who have helped me put this volume together: Dan Burge, Celia Gardiner, Tracy Molino, Michał Motylewski, Nicola Rae, Thomas Schubert and Charles Wood. They are of course not responsible for any shortcomings in the text.

Please draw this volume to the attention of those who you think may be interested in it, and share on social media etc. It has been written in order to start conversations.

Those of you whose practice is mostly with traditional forms of oil and gas or electricity sector commercial activity may not be aware, but we do have a talented and growing network of colleagues in a range of practice groups globally (cc’d) who are well equipped to help those looking at blockchain business models, particularly (but by no means exclusively) in relation to ICOs and other fund-raising matters, and IP.

Interest in blockchain is by no means confined to the tech fringe of the energy sector – plenty of oil majors and mainstream power utilities are also actively engaged.

The contents of the volume are as follows:

1. Editorial 1
2. Blockchain basics: technology 2
3. Blockchain basics: law 12
4. Oil and gas: maritime trade and trade finance 18
5. Oil and gas: other potential applications of blockchain 22
6. Blockchain and the changing shape of electricity markets 27
7. Blockchain and decentralized power: case studies 36
8. Power to the people: more energy blockchain use cases 45
9. Conclusions—what next for blockchain and your energy sector business? 49

I apologise for the lack of schematic diagrams in the text, but it is rich in hyperlinks to sources where these can be found. At around 30,000 words, I would not claim that every page of it is necessarily an easy read, but we have tried (i) to get under the skin of the subject more than other similar surveys (at least those published in English); and (ii) to look as far as possible across the whole range of energy sector use cases.

For those of you attending the Dentons Global Energy Summit in Amsterdam this Thursday: there is a breakout session on blockchain at 2.45 pm (“foundation of future energy markets, or bubble about to burst?”) with great speakers from Macquarie, ING, Siemens, Vattenfall and three very exciting electricity sector blockchain start-ups (Power Ledger, Verv and Irene Energy). For those in London on 30 October, there is another great panel event on blockchain more generally (which will also have energy content).