Blocking and Tackling
Caitlin Shields is an Associate at Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer, LLP. She focuses her practice on energy and environmental regulation. Macklin Henderson is a law clerk at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, and attends the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
What's blockchain? No, it's not the pseudonym of the latest rapper. If you haven't heard of it, the editors of Public Utilities Fortnightly should be thanking you, because it probably means you've chosen to read PUF rather than Computer World.
Why it should matter to you, though, is that blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, stands to become one of the next disruptive forces in the energy industry — at least if Big Tech has it their way.
Blockchain, What Is It?
Blockchain is a peer-to-peer digital ledger that can be used to automate a wide range of transactions, making them more transparent, secure, verifiable, and, ideally, cost-effective. When parties conduct a transaction using blockchain, the details of the transaction are broadcast to all authorized computers in the network, which verify the validity of the transaction.
A blockchain ledger network can be public, as is the case when it is used to record cryptocurrency transactions, or private where only specific stakeholders have specific permissions.