Blockchain For Social Impact Hackathon — The Energy Bazaar Experience

This is the story of the results and the experiences Energy Bazaar has gathered during the Blockchain For Social Impact Hackathon. It was powered by the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC), which incubates, develops, and implements confederated blockchain products and solutions that can address social and environmental challenges across the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. BSIC is an initiative of ConsenSys, a venture production studio based in Brooklyn, NY.
I want to thank Pranav Burnwal, Riccardo Volpato, Sergey Nam (NAMedia Digital), Sarathram Subbaraman, Rob de Jeu, Steyn Verschoof, Dirk van den Biggelaar and Rhythima shinde for their drive this month in creating work to be proud of.
The future depends on what we do in the present — Mahatma Gandhi

3 deliverables. A pitch deck, also visible below, a technical demonstration and a draft white paper. The results of an October of work.

Did we win? …Nope

Were we disappointed? ….Yes!

Are we discouraged? …Of course not!

So what now? It depends on what we do today!

Today we reflect.

We call out to all stakeholders to reach out to us if you want to be included in this process.

What did we learn this month?

Creating real new overseas virtual relations. The hackathon team is still actively communicating with each other, showing the good working relations that were kept. While many learning points came up, the overall workflow was timely managed and the meetings were fun!

Learning from each other. Between various disciplines in our team, the knowledge gaps were big. The members of the team specialising in energy, where required to translate the process of energy exchange to the developers that actually built the smart contracts. The developers in turn, showed the energy experts new ways of dealing with the same problem. As Rob de Jeu says:

“I learned what Blockchain can do in the energy sector, I became familiar with terms like smart contracts and tokens. Most importantly I have learned that there are many business models to be created.”

What do you think could be improved?

Therefore, we need to look at who won and what they have done better. To give credit where credit is due, here are the winners of the ‘energy’ track.

Geagora has a further developeded mechanism design, that is clear. This means, it focuses much better on the technical aspects of actual tokenisation in the video and the processes within its ecosystem.

Yet, Energy Bazaar is learning. Dirk van den Biggelaar has now published this blog, explaining the technical aspects of our decentralised marketplace. Also, the word mechanism design was not even known to us until after the hackathon. For those who want to be learning with us, some reading on what mechanism design actually is can be found here. The difficult thing is that in our mechanism design, stakeholders from government, industry, civil society and academia need to be included in the innovation process as Yvo Hunink’s blogs show. We call out to all stakeholders that want such inclusion.

What will the future of Energy Bazaar be?

As our team member Riccardo Volpato noticed:

“Many players are moving into the decentralised energy market. Energy Bazaar should found its own niche and focus, perhaps working together with Indian institutions, to work its way out of the jungle.”

This niche has now become very clear to us. Our market was recently validated by Powerledger going to India. Still, Energy Bazaar provides a very different focus, thinking more from the people and the society they create and maintain. Rhythima Shinde’s latest blogs, together with more evidence from Abhigyan Singh at TU Delft, show that there is more at stake on the local level. Social and cultural values cannot be ignored in a future electricity system design.

The Energy Bazaar Roadmap

We will now start designing the first pilot project and will be organising a co-creation workshop, where all stakeholders are included, shared objectives are be envisioned, efficient role divisions are constituted and collective resources are created… Wanna join?

Next up, Hack4Climate! Rhythima shinde and Dirk van den Biggelaar will be representing Energy Bazaar there this month, so see you there!