Go back

Eurelectric calls for policy and regulatory control of blockchain

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Eurelectric is advocating for policy and regulatory control to enable blockchain technology to realise its full potential without putting electricity customers at risk

Eurelectric released a new White Paper calling for European electricity policymakers and regulators to oversee the development of blockchain technologies in the power sector.

According to the organisation, “blockchain today represents an immature technology that is evolving quickly”. This development will require policy support and a well-defined regulatory framework to enable investors and entrepreneurs to continue to demonstrate blockchain applications while minimising potential risks and challenges.

The White Paper states that, during the past years, European policymakers and regulators have taken the first steps to support the development of blockchain applications in Europe. These include efforts to standardise and build consensus around blockchain technologies, the provision of funding for blockchain-based pilot projects, and efforts related to the financial technology sector that could improve crowd-funding opportunities for blockchain projects. In addition, national public-private initiatives are also underway, such as the Alastria initiative in Spain.

However, the Paper illustrates that additional policy and regulatory foresight will be required to enable blockchain technology to realise its full potential without putting electricity customers at risk. In line with this, Eurelectric claims that policy and regulatory consideration should be given to: (i) continued innovation funding through Horizon 2020; (ii) the continued and increased use of “regulatory sandboxes” that will enable blockchain projects to expand in controlled environments that replicate features of the electricity system, coordinated with the relevant grid operators; (iii) setting standards and ensuring the long-term interoperability of blockchain-enabled devices (appliances, thermostats, electrical meters, distributed generation equipment, etc.) with other devices; (iv) the creation of  safeguards against security risks; and (v) the analysis of the pros and cons of a common (EU-wide) versus many interoperable blockchains.