All eyes are on the energy sector this week. The price per barrel of oil surpassed $100 for the first time since 2014 as a result of Russia invading Ukraine. As global leaders craft their responses, oil and gas supplies are in focus. As the second-largest exporter of oil in the world, Russia’s invasion is catalyzing worsening inflation of fuel costs. For some, this potential energy crisis is renewing an older debate: Can blockchain solve problems that lie at the intersection of energy and politics? Digital coins and tokens that promise to address these issues are coming into focus as cryptos to buy right now.
So what are these cryptos really promising to do? Well, the blockchain has several use cases in the energy sector. It could make fuel transportation more transparent, eliminate third parties like banks from the process, and streamline the movement of assets. Cryptocurrencies can broadly underlie oil and gas assets and de-bank the industry.
Energy sector leaders are already keenly aware of the power of blockchain. In recent years, companies like Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) have formed their own oil and gas blockchain consortium.
Now though, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has underscored the need for a different future.
While investors wait to see what the oil giants come up with, energy-focused cryptocurrencies are shooting higher. These projects offer up a variety of solutions. Even through solutions like making renewable energy more accessible, they all could help to alleviate the damage events like the Russia-Ukraine conflict have on the global energy supply.
If you are investing with energy independence in mind, here are some of the best cryptos to buy:
- Powerledger (POWR-USD)
- SunContract (SNC-USD)
- Energy Web Token (EWT-USD)
Cryptos to Buy: Powerledger (POWR-USD)
When it comes to crypto projects pushing forward the energy sector, Powerledger is the leader. It is certainly the largest crypto in this space, boasting a market capitalization of about $25o million.
Powerledger seeks to decentralize energy by allowing local users to directly transact renewable power among one another. By buying power through its decentralized trading platform, users can pick which type of energy they want to receive. They then absolve themselves from rising power costs associated with electrical grids and a dependence on gas and oil.
Powerledger is an ecosystem predicated on the idea that renewable energy producers can profit from selling their excess energy to others on the power grid. For example, somebody with solar panels on their house could use Powerledger to sell excess energy to another user on their power grid. Powerledger then taps blockchain technology to monitor the production and consumption of energy on this grid. Ultimately, it uses that data to set market prices and track how much power a seller has to offer.
SunContract is perhaps one of the most relevant projects to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and how it demonstrates a need for these blockchain-based energy protocols. Operating in Slovenia, with plans for international expansion, the project is one of the closest to the source of the energy woes plaguing 2022.
SunContract puts power into its users hands, both literally and figuratively. Using the platform, one can buy or sell renewable energy to power their home. Like Powerledger, it is a peer-to-peer energy marketplace. Through the marketplace, businesses and individuals alike can sell renewable energy products and services to each other.
Using SunContract allows energy providers to eliminate middle-men from the equation by using smart contracts. The platform has an automated market with competitive pricing across wind and solar energy providers. It also utilizes a bid system through which consumers can buy the energy.
By allowing a third party to manage distribution of energy, these producers are able to save time and effort, while also reaching a wider user base. For consumers, the project makes renewable energy cheaper and far more accessible by bringing the power right to one’s doorstep. These users are then able to circumvent the stranglehold that sanctions are having on oil and gas consumers.
Energy Cryptos to Buy: Energy Web Token (EWT-USD)
The Energy Web Token is a departure from the peer-to-peer energy buying and selling that Powerledger and SunContract offer. Rather, EWT seeks to fuel a decentralized application (DApp) network similar to Ethereum (ETH-USD), bent specifically on energy sector DApps.
EWT is the crypto underlying the Energy Web Chain (EWC), a network launched in 2019. Using the Energy Web Chain, developers can create applications that seek to solve any number of issues with the energy sector. The project offers up several use cases covering its existing projects.
One notable example is its role in Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) electrical grid balancing. As the nation sees an increasing demand for renewable energy, AEMO is utilizing Energy Web Chain to track distribution of various energy sources. Other applications seek to more easily allow companies to register carbon credits and to monitor use of electric vehicle charging stations.
The EWC presents great promise in migrating the energy industry to the blockchain. Indeed, it creates a sort of sandbox space for companies to develop whatever blockchain technology best fits their needs. Most importantly, it links all of its participants on a single network, which will obviously foster greater flow of information and transparency as adoption of a service like EWC picks up.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.