Co-tricity is a peer-to-peer energy surplus marketplace where users can buy and sell surplus energy which is built on the blockchain.  The main benefit is increased transparency and more more efficient matching for surplus energy by matching users of similar consumption curves.  The current energy re-sell marketplace is opaque and energy is not always sold to consumers with a similar consumption curve to the provider.  At times power is wasted, and the producers of energy have no say in where that energy goes.  At a high level, the blockchain solution allows us to build an efficient energy re-sale system around our actual consumption and needs and provides the opportunity to incentivize producers and consumers in a way that increases efficiency for everyone. This project is a great use case for the blockchain where everyone involved in the system benefits.

Co-tricity is a join venture between Consensys and RWE, a large power company.  It will be interesting to see where this project heads and even who will benefit the most from such a scheme.  The blockchain provides increased transparency, so regulators may find this to be an appealing solution to tracking energy, and especially re-sold surplus energy, on the grid.  Maybe the consumer market will thrive and we will see more users contributing energy to the grid.  This solution could also provide a more efficient, cost-effective way for utility companies to trade energy.

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If you have done any research on ICOs you probably know that people are skeptical about the legitimacy of some recent offerings. Right now, hack.ether.camp is running their ICO. We are not suggesting buying in, but it is an interesting project to check out. Look at their feed to see a huge range of Ethereum projects. Some are just people spitballing but there are a fair amount of legitimate contenders in there. Keep an eye on that feed for new ideas.

 

Here is the link to their “Hacker Gold” crowd sale if you are interested: https://hack.ether.camp/sale

 

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Using Blockchain for payments is the biggest no-brainer use case out there. The central issue that can be resolved is the removal of intermediaries required to fulfill a transaction. For everyone involved the more parties involved in a transaction, the higher the costs and time delays. Also, its not as if big banks are not aware of this. You might have heard of Santander getting in on it. Even Goldman Sachs filed a patent on a virtual currency.

Of course, the banks got in way too early and would not see a viable product for years which causes them to abandon projects before they can materialize. The Ethereum and Bitcoin communities love having vanity names like Goldman Sachs associated with their projects, however, the major Blockchain players of the future are in smaller companies that are in aggressive growth stages.

One company that is poised to pivot into payments is Chicago-based startup, Raise. The Raise business model has been to let people sell unused gift cards for less than their cash value, and Raise would take 15% of each sale. In June, they acquired mobile payments company, Slide.

Raise appears to be telegraphing a move to the Blockchain in some capacity. In August, Raise laid off 15% of its staff. According to the Chicago Tribune article, the founder wants to move beyond the gift card marketplace into a sophisticated mobile wallet. The question that remains is if they will use Ethereum or a Private Blockchain.

Off the top of my head I can think of three reasons Raise why would use Ethereum as a Blockchain solution:

 

Privacy

Using Blockchain, Raise can have zero-knowledge proof of transactions. This will allow them to process payments and transactions at a fraction of the cost.

Scalability

With the number of transactions Ethereum is able to handle, Raise will no longer need to store transaction logs to validate transactions. Plus, this solution avoids duplicate transactions.

Settlement

With Digital Ledgers, Raise can cut costs and reduce errors upon settlement. Instead of having high liquidity costs, they could settle transactions immediately and not take on extra operational costs.

 

Either way, if you’re on the operations team Raise, it probably wouldn’t kill you to dust off your resume and maybe drag a comb through your hair.

 

 

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