Markets from Japan to Singapore are keen to seize the opportunities offered by blockchain-based energy trading, according to key developers in the region.
The growing interest of the market and myriad of revolutionary projects exemplify the way in which Asia could be set up to match Europe and North America in the field of 39; innovation in energy trading based on blockchain. In addition to hosting a vibrant start-up community, the region is already a focal point for international energy blockchain leaders such as LO3 Energy and Power Ledger of Australia based in the US. " There is an immense appetite for energy trading based on blockchain in Asia " said Power Ledger analyst Marrah Fry . " We have received great support for our two projects announced in this region. "
The Asian projects of Power Ledger based in Perth include a link with the Thai developer of renewable energy BCPG and an alliance with Kepco the second largest utility of Japan. The Thai project was hailed as the first of its kind in the region, since the local Metropolitan Electricity Authority is giving the blockchain access to its network so that Power Ledger can help BCPG to offer exchanges of peer-to-peer energy.
In addition to Japan and Thailand, Fry reports the Power Ledger communities active in China, South Korea and the Philippines. " This further demonstrates how much interest exists for our blockchain-fueled innovation in Asia, ," said Fry.
Belinda Kincaid director of Australia at LO3 Energy said that his company was also staring at Asia, with two projects that would soon be announced in Japan. Asian countries like Japan, Singapore and South Korea were keen to embrace blockchain-based energy trading, he said, but working in Asia also meant tackling less mature and receptive energy markets.
" Impacts on the readiness of people to see how this could be of benefit ," he said. " Every market is different, but many Asian utilities are intrigued and want to do some sort of process, they are generally quite receptive to learning more ."
However, the challenges for introduction of the blockchain energy exchange in the region was highlighted in September, when the Thailand Electricity Generation Authority announced plans to pay taxes on related blockchain trades. The move, one of the first regulatory challenges to blocking the energy trade in the world, came just as Thailand was hailing itself as an important cryptocurrency market.
In August, the trend-setting site TechCrunch had defined the nation as "one of the most interesting countries in the cryptocurrency and blockchain in Southeast Asia in 2018."
Power Ledger's Fry wiped out concerns over the impact of the tax, though. " We are aware that the Thai government has recently announced a tax on capital gains of 15% on cryptocurrency transactions ," he said. " This particular regulation will have no impact on our implementation of the Power Ledger platform in Thailand, as users do not actually interact with any cryptocurrency. "
In addition, he said, the risk of regulatory challenges they were not limited to Asia. " A more definitive regulation in the blockchain space and cryptocurrency is something that has become a reality for almost all the jurisdictions of the world, " observed
Per Willie Khoo produced and responsible for the strategy at the Singapore-based energy blockchain society Electrify the answer is to push for greater awareness of the benefits of distributed registers, peer-to-peer and cryptocurrency trade. " People are generally receptive once they manage to focus on blockchain and energy, which is a difficult thing to do ," he said. " Explaining the blockchain is a herculean task and the energy market is just as hard to understand. "
This means that there is often a steep learning curve that investors, regulators and other stakeholders must face before being comfortable with the concept. Once this challenge is overcome, however, there may be important opportunities for en masse energy trading in many Asian countries.
" Networks are becoming increasingly decentralized ," Khoo said. " Markets are opening up not only to commercial and industrial entities, but also to residential households, I think the opportunity is here: to have these grids go to a completely decentralized system – in Europe or in Australia, it is more difficult to penetrate these grids.In Asia, there is an opportunity. "