Back in October, I had the pleasure of seeing Julien Bringer, co-founder and CTO of HODLNG, speak at a webinar hosted by BlockStart. For those who don’t know, BlockStart is an EU-funded program that facilitates the commercial development and uptake of blockchain-based solutions. BlockStart also works to increase collaboration between blockchain developers.
While the whole webinar is worth listening to, it was Julien Bringer’s concept of bringing NFTs to the energy industry that I found particularly interesting. NFTs are a very popular topic right now, and I was hesitant to be just another person writing about them, but the topic covered in the webinar could bring important modernization to the industry and is a particularly novel application for NFTs.
In case you don’t know or need a primer on NFTs, they are non-fungible tokens, that is, they are digital objects registered in a ledger that determines the ownership of these objects. It would be gratuitous to use buzzwords like “cloud-based” but none of it is physical. So far, NFTs have been created to tie digital art or assets to an owner. Often, the ledger where ownership is registered is a form of blockchain, meaning everyone has access to the records of ownership. This also means that the ledger is resistant to non-authorized modifications. I won’t blame you if the above isn’t enough to understand what NFTs are or what they’ve been used for, so here are some articles that may be of help:
At their most basic, all NFTs do is tie an object to an owner in a digital public record. What’s interesting is that the objects can really be anything. What was proposed at the webinar is to tie NFTs to physical objects, especially to LNG-carrying ships. The NFT wouldn’t be tied to ownership of the vessel, but rather to the record of the LNG within the ship. What this means is that the metrics relative to the gas inside the ship would be tracked in a public ledger, and the gas could be valued based on those metrics. The source of the gas, its characteristics, the impact of its supply chain, and even greenhouse gas and carbon footprint of the LNG were proposed as metrics during the webinar.
This makes a lot of sense for the industry because it ties a lot of the information directly linked to the LNG back to a single public record. What makes even more sense is to turn this information into a marketable item. Because implementing these NFTs would provide information about the LNG itself, a market could be created where bids on the gas could be placed based on those metrics. Those needing LNG could bid higher or lower amounts based on the metrics they desire. Through NFTs, it would be possible to bid on the carbon footprint or other characteristics of LNG.
Beyond the above applications, a market could be built around bidding on characteristics of energy needs. If other players within the energy industry were to implement the same metrics for their energy and add them to the same market, it would be possible to bid on energy across all sectors based on availability and chosen metrics. This would serve to revolutionize and modernize the energy industry.
Of course, the implementation of NFTs in the global energy industry is still a dream for the future, but like many innovative solutions, it’s a dream worth pursuing.
You can watch the BlockStart’s complete webinar here: