German consumers are getting cheaper energy through an Ethereum-based energy supplier which promises to “bypass the middleman”.
Launched this year, Lition offers its service to 41 million German households in ten cities across the country, promising consumers a 20% saving on their monthly energy bill and offering producers the opportunity to generate up to 30% more profit.
The company, built on the Ethereum blockchain, promises to connect its clients directly with energy suppliers, bypassing intermediaries, the usual energy retailer in conventional supply systems. Lition now boasts 700 users with Berlin, Munich and Hamburg on its supply list.
The company claims to “simplify the legal, operational and economic hurdles for green power producers and allow customers to buy truly green electricity at an affordable price”. What this actually means for customers is that they are given more options. Multinational suppliers can be cut out of the equation completely, maintains Lition CEO Richard Lohwasser:
“Our energy exchange connects customers and producers directly. Producers put their energy on the exchange and then customers can buy it… Usually buying directly from producers is limited to energy suppliers that are big corporations. We’re bringing the exchange to the consumer, so consumers can pay for the energy they want.”
The downside for Lohwasser is Ethereum itself, which he sees as far too slow. He argues that customers view its use with a degree of skepticism due to the uncomfortable juxtaposition of two polar factors within one company; one that promotes renewable energy while at the same time using a system which, many argue, drains it. Lohwasser said that Lition researchers studied a number of alternative blockchains when setting up the company but were unable to find one which had Ethereum’s permissionless and scalable attributes.
They finally partnered with German-based multinational software corporation SAP and built a tailor-made hybrid blockchain system in order to incorporate what the company saw as the best of all the available models. The company’s next step is to launch its own ICO later in the year.
In other news from Germany, AG Siemens has announced that it will invest USD 681 million into a center for the study and development of blockchain, artificial intelligence and other innovative technologies. The German giant has planned to use Berlin as the site for what it will call SiemensStadt (Siemens City) on a 70-hectare site in an industrial zone in the suburb of Spandau.
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