Distributed ledgers and the future of value

The world’s least technologically advanced areas may be ideal to study how blockchain can aid energy grids and that’s why emerging markets are attractive testing grounds, letting developers bridge financing gaps, enable transactions, and increase transparency.


Ease of sharing and visibility are essential features of a blockchain; lack of one or the other of these is often a central driver of blockchain adoption. They become particularly critical in transactions in which more than one organization is making blockchain entries.


Blockchain can be programmed to instigate specific transactions when other transactions are completed. This could help parties collaborate without increasing risk on transactions with multiple dependences, or those authored by different parties.


The immutability of blockchain makes it nearly impossible for changes to be made once established, which increases confidence in data integrity and reduces opportunities for fraud.


With private and public key cryptography part of blockchain’s underlying protocol, transactional security and confidentiality become virtually unassailable. Trust zones can also be established, including open public ledgers and permission-based shared or private blockchains in which participation is limited to select entities.


With blockchain, peer-to-peer consensus algorithms transparently record and verify transactions without a third party—potentially eliminating cost, delays, and general complexity.


WDigital utilize performance benchmarks such as Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC), Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC), and Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) to ensure our clients receive impartial benchmarks for blockchain technologies.



Use Case

As this article illustrates, blockchain power sector applications seem nascent in all markets, including emerging markets, with many more opportunities likely to come. Development institutions should engage developers, utilities, operators, regulators, and customers broadly to help understand where business challenges can be disrupted by blockchain solutions, and build an entrepreneurial environment that can deliver more impact, for lower cost, at a sustainable scale.

Proof-of-concept to pilot

As the first solutions reach market, the role of international development institutions could change from building local capacity and understanding to establishing a sustainable enabling environment along with advancing solutions that align with development goals. Providing support through pilot tracking, collaboration on standards, and retrospective analysis can provide early entrepreneurs with access to essential data and training to make informed decisions, as well as an understanding of the nontechnical components required to successfully deploy a blockchain application.


If and when pilots have proven the technology, it will be time to grow. Here international development institutions could be well-positioned to provide value in establishing consortia across the power sector with robust membership, leadership, funding, and governance given their penetration in emerging market power sectors.