Smart Contracts and the Electricity Sector: a critical analysis

Type:
  • Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems
Status:
offered
Tutor:

Abstract

Motivation

Based on blockchain principles, smart contract allow for the automated execution of “rules” that are normally encoded in a contract, thus providing support for verifying or even enforcing agreements specified in a contract without the need for human intervention. Also in the electricity sector, smart contracts have gained in popularity, e.g., as a means to enable decentralized payment for electricity (see NRGCoin, e.g., Mihaylov, 2014), or using smart contract technology in conjunction with smart meters to donate electricity to, e.g., schools in developing countries (see bankymoon, e.g Bankymoon, 2018). Yet, beyond the hype introduction of smart contract technology in the energy sector comes with several challenges, such as “traditional” block chain technology consuming a notable amount of electricity, which goes directly against “green”/environmental objectives pursued by many smart-contracts based initiatives employed in the energy sector.

Description

The aim of this bachelor thesis is to identify characteristics pertinent to the energy sector, and to confront these to several technologies that allow for the development of smart contracts (such as on ethereum).

Literature

  • Underwood, Sarah. "Blockchain beyond bitcoin." Communications of the ACM 59.11 (2016): 15-17.
  • Clack, Christopher D., Vikram A. Bakshi, and Lee Braine. "Smart Contract Templates: essential requirements and design options." arXiv preprint arXiv:1612.04496 (2016).
  • Delmolino, Kevin, et al. "Step by step towards creating a safe smart contract: Lessons and insights from a cryptocurrency lab." International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2016.
  • Mihaylov, Mihail, et al. "NRGcoin: Virtual currency for trading of renewable energy in smart grids." European Energy Market (EEM), 2014 11th International Conference on the. IEEE, 2014.
  • Pilkington, Marc, Blockchain Technology: Principles and Applications (September 18, 2015). Research Handbook on Digital Transformations, edited by F. Xavier Olleros and Majlinda Zhegu. Edward Elgar, 2016. Available at SSRN: ssrn.com/abstract=2662660
  • Bankymoon - Blockchain enabled solutions and services, bankymoon.co.za, last accessed on 09-04-2018