Blockchain to secure trust in peer-to-peer charging


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<p>Researchers in the University of Waterloo have found that there is a lack of trust among charging service providers, property owners and owners of electric vehicles. However, the team believes a blockchain could resolve these issues. <span id=

According to the scientists, it could allow all parties to access the data to ensure that it has not been tampered with. Using a block-oriented charging system will, therefore, allow owners to know if they are being underpinned for providing access to the charging station.

Moreover, there is a third element for this equation as "energy services are being provided by entities that have well-established trusts with their customers and partners," explains Christian Gorenflo, to PhD candidates at Waterloo's David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. "In this context, blockchains are a promising approach for replacing a central trusted party, for example, making it possible to implement direct peer-to-peer energy trading."

The EV-charging service provider, which works with property owners to install charging stations which owners can use for a fee. The revenue streams from these charging stations is then shared between the charging service providers and each property owner. However, the property owners must trust the provider to compensate them for the electricity used when utilizing the provider's equipment.

The case study led the researchers to identify three necessary steps for the incorporation of blockchain technology into an energy system. The first is to establish whether there is a trust issue that is the execution of the service.

A minimal blockchain system, where there is a need for design, including smart contracts, which resolves the trust issues identified in the first step.

Finally, with the trust-mitigating blockchain in place, the rest of the system can be migrated iteratively over time. This allows the business model to eventually grow from a legacy / blockchain hybrid into a truly decentralized solution.

“In the end, we could have a system where there is machine-to-machine communication rather than people-to-machine. "An autonomous vehicle needs power," said Gorenflo.

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