According to a press release on September 7, 2018, French energy company, ENGIE, and business consulting firm, Maltem Consulting Group, have teamed up with to launch a blockchain development firm for commercial customers. The project which is called Blockchain Studio is created to “democratize the uses of blockchain technology and make it accessible to as many people as possible, in particular, companies” according to the ENGIE website.
For now, the venture will aim for markets in Asia and Southern Europe. It has already locked a seed funding of €1.9 million (around $2.1 million). The current team consists of 10 people and is expected to reach a count of 25 by 2019 end.
It also plans to open up an office in Singapore in the beginning of 2019 along with starting rolling out its services. Operations will then be expanded to Southern Europe by the end of June 2019. In its press release, the company has expressed how most blockchain projects stagnate at the stage of “proof of concept” and the blockchain technology still remains under the scope of experts and specialists.
Basically, Blockchain Studio is meant as a software suite for a commercial client. This is made up of two fundamental tools.
- The first tool is intended to develop “smart contracts” so as to make them accessible to people with no technical knowledge of Blockchain.
- The second tool is to establish Blockchain structure which can be accessed in the cloud or on the company’s servers.
Smart contracts are self-executing contracts where the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller written directly into the lines of code. Therefore, the code and the agreement are contained in a distributed, decentralized blockchain network.
ENGIE’s executive vice-president and Chief Information & Digital Officer, Yves Le Gélard, has stated that:
We are very pleased to be contributing to this development, which should allow blockchain technology to be made accessible to many actors. It is an excellent example of an innovative tool contributing to ENGIE’s digital transformation.
Meanwhile, Jean-Luc Clamen and Pascal Mennesson, partners and co-founders of the Maltem Consulting Group, have expressed:
To spread, an innovation as radical as Blockchain technology needs the power of large groups to be combined with the agility of start-ups. This is the purpose of Blockchain Studio, a joint-venture between ENGIE and our agency dedicated to innovation, Futurs.io.
Blockchain Studio’s CEO, Corentin Denoeud, has explained:
The collaboration between ENGIE and Maltem is a significant advantage for creating Blockchain Studio. Their network has already allowed us to receive considerable interest from large groups from a range of sectors.
This is not ENGIE’s first step in applying blockchain in the energy sector. Formerly in March, ENGIE along with other energy companies joined Grid Singularity, in the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) to deploy blockchain projects in the energy division.
In July, ENGIE Lab CRIGEN, ENGIE’s corporate research center, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IOTA foundation. This was done through the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. This agreement is focused on using blockchain in the energy domain for smart cities, smart buildings, and mobility.