How Blockchain is Making Waves in the Energy Sector 6 1701

It may be in its infancy, but blockchain technology is already threatening to disrupt every industry there is. One area where its capabilities are being felt right now is the energy sector. Since the start of this year alone, ICOs have been springing up to tackle world problems almost daily. Moreover, over 200 business models have been identified that could benefit from blockchain technology in this segment.

With the sheer number of pressing issues that face our society today, in the form of climate change, water scarcity, crop failure, and world poverty; the blockchain can be put to some very good use indeed. Let’s take a look at how this technology is having an impact on the energy sector:

Peer to Peer Energy Trading

Many people are alarmed by the thought of climate change. But rising sea levels and poor air quality won’t necessarily motivate them into action. A far better incentive is by showing them the impact on their wallets. How do you get people to install solar panels on their roofs, for example? By paying them back in energy credits and cheaper electricity bills.

And now they have another incentive as well. They can be rewarded for the energy that they don’t consume by trading it directly with their peers on the blockchain. Energy generation is fast becoming decentralized, allowing small and individual producers with rooftop solar units to access the energy market and sell their surplus.

ICOs like Electron in the UK aim to capitalize on the opportunities that this decentralization brings, by allowing consumers to manage their own energy and cut out the middlemen. They can trade their energy credits on a secure and robust platform, when and how much they want to.

Carbon Credits

To tackle the climate crisis head on, many startups are using the blockchain as a fast, efficient, and transparent way for businesses to trade carbon credits. If the thought of saving the planet wasn’t reward enough, many ICOs provide added rewards programs for businesses and individuals who make conscious decisions to reduce their carbon footprints.

CarbonX is one such ICO that allows enterprise companies to easily provide their customers with the sustainable business practices they seek. Using the blockchain to recast carbon offsets, all transactions are transparent and immutable. This means that consumers can really see that when a company claims to be environmentally friendly, it is.

The CarbonX platform assesses the carbon impact of a company’s products and services and balances it with offsets. It then certifies carbon neutral products so that consumers can be confident in their sustainable purchasing choices.

Financing Renewable Energy

Like Kickstarter for renewable energy projects, many a blockchain startup is appearing on the scene allowing great ideas to get the funding they need to start. ASTRN Energy, for example, uses the blockchain to crowdfund and gives investors a stake in the future profits of the energy plant or program.

By enabling crowdfunding and co-investing in renewable energy projects, such as wind generators, solar farms, hydro-dams, and other types of clean energy sources, companies like ASTRN allow us to collaborate to work towards a cleaner, greener future.

With blockchain frequently labeled as the most disruptive tech in decades, perhaps this is the weapon we can finally use in the fight against climate change and finite energy sources. If blockchain can hold companies and suppliers accountable, incentivize individuals and enterprise alike to reduce their carbon footprints, and turn energy into a tradable commodity, perhaps there is hope for generations to come after all.

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Christina is a technology and business communicator who has worked with high profile ICOs and blockchain influencers to break industry news.


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Stakester Brings New Experiences and Royalties to Gamers with NFTs Comments Off on Stakester Brings New Experiences and Royalties to Gamers with NFTs 526

A cheat code NFT allows owners to accrue money, prizes and royalties in the context of popular games.

On Tuesday, Stakester announced its intention to launch a VIP pass in the form of NFTs that it says will enhance the experience for users of its popular gaming app. 

The app, which pairs gamers with real-life opponents, allows players to stake real cash and prizes on their competitive skills in popular games like FIFA 21 and Call of Duty: Warzone. It’s seen significant growth since its launch in 2020, and touts 100,000 members across 31 countries. 

With the forthcoming NFT drop, users will now unlock the potential for larger prizes, access to VIP arenas, and 50% of royalties on the secondary market.

“The NFTs embody Stakester’s vision of delivering electrifying gaming experiences through the thrill of competition,” says Tom Fairey, Founder and CEO of Stakester. “NFT holders will help us shape new, undreamt-of entertainment experiences as gaming becomes ever more powerful and immersive.”

Two levels of NFTs will be offered. At .1 and .25 ETH, respectively, the barrier to entry is high, but Stakester is hoping gamers will see the value of layered experiences and unlocking additional incentives with real-world value. 

“The idea of earning rewards, just like a normal reward scheme but built around NFTs, is totally fit for the future,” says Mike White, CEO and Strategist of immersive entertainment marketing agency, Lively.  “The whole idea of royalties is truly exciting.” 

Stakester’s 50% royalty incentive, Fairey believes, will create stakeholders out of the players on his platform.

 “As well as the increase in gaming utility, the NFT drops provide Stakester users with a chance to invest in the future of the company and, for VIP Legendary holders, there’s also an opportunity to benefit from a royalty share from certain competitions and to make a passive income from NFTs, regardless of whether they go up in value or not,” he says. “Stakester is one of the only platforms to offer this kind of bonus.”

White points out that Gala Games is doing something similar with Nodes which allow gamers to receive rewards like NFTs when they contribute meaningfully to the Gala Network.

He predicts that legacy gaming companies will be adopting similar NFT models, but the winners in the NFT gaming race are hard to predict, particularly since there’s so much attention around NFTs that it’s hard to differentiate between hype and long-term value. 

“I’m sure it will be an immediate success,” he says. “Will it be a long-term thing? We can only wait and see.”

Why Is Everyone Talking About NFTs? Comments Off on Why Is Everyone Talking About NFTs? 227

In this writer’s opinion the NFT hype is warranted — but not for the reason most people are investing. 

For those who’ve been in the space since Bitcoin’s early surge, you’ll remember the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) boom of 2017. The crowdfunding vehicle, which mirrored an IPO on the public market, brought with it massive amounts of investment into the blockchain space that seemed to mirror Bitcoin’s rapidly increasing value. 

In retrospect, none of it made sense. 

With all the hype, the investment in the space didn’t match due diligence. As of August 2018, investors had lost nearly $100M in ICO exit scams, a major reason we no longer hear about ICOs. 

From there, crowdfunding through token sales was rebranded alongside SEC regulation as Security Token Offerings (STOs). Additional fundraising iterations to enter the scene are Initial DEX Offerings (IDOs) and Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs).

NFTs are having a similar moment to the immature and potentially reckless ICO market of 2017. The danger can be credited to a mix of hype and a widely unregulated environment with various points of entry and gatekeepers that are not incentivized to shore up fraud. 

As a result, many purchasers of NFTs are falling victim to a spectrum that spans undeserving projects on the mild end and outright scams at the extreme. Meanwhile, hackers are exploiting the unregulated environment. 

Just yesterday, $3 million in NFTs were stolen via an Instagram phishing scam. 

This writer, however, is still bullish on NFTs — just not the ones that are getting all the attention.

NFTs represent a concrete entry-point into the blockchain with a tangible utility and infinite disruptive implications. 

Here are a few.

Digital Assets as Social Proof 

As a Millennial, I personally have a hard time understanding the notion of owning and assigning value to a digital asset, but my kids don’t. 

I’ve written about how Gen Z has already adopted the concept of social proof in digital environments by assigning socially relevant value to digital assets like video game skins. 

As Gen Z ages and becomes an increasingly powerful consumer population, this experience will matter. Whether or not their purchase behavior translates to adulthood remains to be seen, but our kids are already leveraging digital assets in the metaverse to exhibit their position in the social hierarchy in the same way that my generation assigned value to Jansport-brand backpacks. 

Their concept of digital assets will be fundamentally different from ours, and NFTs are likely to benefit. 

But Why Are NFTs Relevant to Me Now?

Social proof is far from the most interesting use case for NFTs. 

In the near-term, NFTs can be utilized to store sale information of physical goods on the blockchain in order to eliminate nefarious actors in fraud-riddled industries like fine wine and art. 

Moreover, NFTs can disrupt any industry with a substantial secondary market. By coding royalties into the smart contract of NFTs, original sellers of wine, art and other trade-susceptible brands and industries can ensure they’ll capture a fee anytime an item is transferred. 

This solves a major problem for creators like photographers, artists and musicians that are notoriously underpaid in comparison to the value they create for brokers. It also has the potential to cut out middlemen like auction houses, record labels, and galleries to democratize the creator economy. 

Other Innovators Have Introduced Creative Use Cases for NFTs

Gary Vaynerchuk utilizes NFTs as tickets for events and other value-adds to his community. Forbes introduced a series of NFT Billionaires that will update alongside the real-time NYSE to gamify their user’s NFT experience in a way that’s brand-relevant. is using a gamified version of NFTs to fundraise blockchain education for women. 

The utility of NFTs is confined only by the imagination of our innovators. Whether or not NFT headlines today will remain relevant is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: the disruption is only beginning. 

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