By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the booming interest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency designed to make transactions secure and simple without need for a middle-man and all the extra fees that come with it.
But Bitcoin is just one of hundreds of crypocurrencies popping up every day. It’s already being used to buy things on the open market… but that doesn’t make it the best choice by far.
We’ve been keeping an eye on another fast-growing cryptocurrency, one that’s poised to see some major growth even beyond the 1,306% gains we’ve seen over the past year.
It’s called Ethereum, and some day soon, it could be even bigger than Bitcoin.
You see, Ethereum has a few benefits over the most well-known cryptocurrency out there, including more secure transactions, and an even simpler interface.
Its secret? It’s a network, not an actual currency.
Ethereum uses blockchain technology far more effectively than rival Bitcoin, allowing transactions to be processed much quicker. In fact, it takes Ethereum 12 seconds to process a transaction that takes Bitcoin 12 minutes!
Already, some big names are throwing in their lot with this digital payment network.
For instance, the Energy Web Foundation was recently started by partners at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) — a non-profit advocate for green energy — and Grid Singularity, a blockchain startup.
The two created this foundation to begin testing ways in which the Ethereum network could be used for decentralized, secure, and fast transactions across the energy industry.
Already, as much as $2.5 million has been invested in this venture by big energy names such as Statoil, Shell, Engie, and Centrica.
Right away, three main cases were identified that could make the best use of Ethereum transactions: renewable energy certificates, peer-to-peer renewable energy sharing, and everyday customer billing by utilities.
“If you look at those systems,” says RMI principal Jesse Morris, “they’re basically screaming at the top of their lungs for a blockchain-based solution.”
Problems such as certificate authentication and minuscule regulatory blocks could be solved were transactions to be put through an open-source network such as Ethereum.
The challenge now becomes creating an industry standard for cryptocurrency use.
Of course, Grid Singularity CEO Ewald Hess points out that this will be much easier to accomplish with such big names in the energy industry already on board.