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Jacksonville Company Develops Blockchain Product for Energy Sector

Our region is comprised of pioneering innovators who embrace being forerunners in the IT sphere and allow Jacksonville to continue to be a leader in technology developments and advancements. Blockchain remains at the forefront of technology.

Joe Witowski, a solutions architect at Jacksonville-based The Energy Authority (TEA), recently discussed its blockchain product for the energy sector with the Jacksonville Business Journal. TEA provides public power utilities with access to advanced resources and technology systems so they can respond competitively in the changing energy markets.

Witowski is also the lead architect of Candor, TEA’s minimally viable blockchain product.

While blockchain is sometimes referred to as the “Wild West of technology development,” the global blockchain market is expected to increase by 80 percent between 2018 and 2023, from $1.2 billion to $23.3 billion, according to ReportLinker.

The unique characteristics of blockchain technology include lower transaction costs, increased transparency and enhanced security, which can create new opportunities for the energy sector.

Blockchain technology can also be practically applied to any industry. Futurists see an inevitably ubiquitous technology that will provide unprecedented security, transparency and speed to almost every industry.

Candor allows TEA to trade natural gas on a blockchain platform, something that allows utilities to overcome a “trust deficit,” said Witkowski.

This is a particular challenge amongst utilities because each has a proprietary databasing system and refuses to share anything more than an invoice. While it can be a pain point in specific industries, early successes in blockchain technology might help ease problems.

TEA’s use meets Witkowski’s criteria for blockchain deployment: data must be shared amongst separate entities, verification is an imperative and compliance and record-keeping are essential.

Witkowski’s approach in developing Candor was carefully measured. The process started with an idea lab, then close collaboration with TEA board members and federal regulators. It worked up to a pilot, then finally the minimally viable product that can be used throughout the country.

More information can be found at the Jacksonville Business Journal.