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Japan To Tokenize And Marketize Surplus Electricity

July 13, 2020
Ross Peili


Japan To Tokenize And Marketize Surplus Electricity

A new blockchain-powered electricity management solution promises to help power supplier companies from Japan to deal efficiently with surplus electricity.

More specifically, Itochu Corporation, a leading Japanese trading company, in association with Tepco Holdings Inc. (Tokyo Electric Power Company) proposed the use of blockchain technology to help domestic households trade, as in ‘buy and sell’, surplus electricity accumulated by renewable energy systems such as solar panels, wind turbines and more.

According to a relevant Nikkei publication, the joint project aims to be ready-for-use within three years from today and if successful, it will be the first of its kind, considering analogous projects such as We.Power, and Power Ledger have stumbled upon a series of regulatory barriers in their quest to tokenize electricity.

Read More: Japanese Ad Giant Dentsu to Authenticate Original Content On-Chain

How It Works

The trading services giant Itochu and the Tokyo Electric Power Company plan to provide Japanese households with artificial intelligence backed cells and solar panels free of charge. 

The AI-powered system will do the math subjecting the amount of energy generated, and the amount of consumed energy, in order to provide surplus data and enable the decentralized trading platform from where Japanese citizens could buy and sell electricity directly with their neighbors.

In this case, blockchain technology will be used to enhance “the safety of communication”, cited Nikkei, while it is yet unclear whether the project will have its own native token in the form of a cryptocurrency, loyalty token, or provide ownership contracts.

Details regarding the distributed ledger technology to be used by the Japanese venture are entirely absent as well, although judging by the number of similarities found between the project in question, and Australian startup Power Ledger we can assume they will be using a third-party blockchain and won’t mess with developing one from scratch.   

Some guesses include but are not limited to: the public Ethereum Blockchain, Hyperledger Besu (Enterprise-grade Ethereum), Hyperledger Fabric, and R3’s Corda blockchain, which is the choice of the many when it comes to private blockchain solutions. 

Blockchain Adoption In Japan

The country of the rising sun might be one of the most advanced regions when it comes to blockchain comprehension and that on a governmental level. Still, Japan is not keen on blindly investing in DLTs as observed by China, but it rather looks up for easy to deploy use-cases that will enable more efficient administration protocols both for government bodies and private entities. 

Read More: EY Utilizes Blockchain to Authenticate Original Japanese Sake

While many businesses in Japan compensate their employees directly with Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, Takahide Kuichi, a former Bank of Japan officer believes that if there is any reason for the Japanese government to consider a digital currency, that would be only because the country aims to shift its citizens’ dependence on fiat currency. 

That comes in contrast to what China aims with its long-awaited central bank digital currency (CBDC) that aims to put the Chinese yuan on the international monetary map, unlike Japan which settles its international businesses in terms of U.S. Dollars.  

Nevertheless, blockchain-powered solutions and/or services that are not necessarily promoting a digital alternative to the country’s current economic system, but provide efficiency whether we’re talking about time, expenses, or security, are more than welcome by the Japanese government on a public and transparent matter.

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