Can you introduce yourself and provide a quick overview of Pylon?
Hi and thanks for this opportunity, my name is Markos Romanos, CCO of Pylon Network.
We are a team of engineers and developers, who have been working together for the past 4 years, starting as a GreenTech startup (“Klenergy”).
Our paths crossed at different stages and countries but, what glued us together — and has always been our motivation — is the realization that the true value of sustainable technologies (at local, national and international level) goes unrecognized by the energy markets.
Pylon Network, has undoubtedly taken us all through an exciting journey of market validations, testing new business models across the supply chain of energy sector, which has allowed us today to have a very clear perspective of the immense potential of blockchain technology for transitioning to a more fair, transparent, inclusive and more efficient energy system — and of course, a more sustainable future.
Pylon taps on the value of energy data at a time that the energy sector is taken by a wave of digitalization. The Pylon Network uses a neutral energy data hub which allows for simple, energy efficient, and transparent data sharing between energy models. The network would establish a communication platform for markets to share, transmit, and engage in energy based services which can increase overall integrity, save on costs, and provide customer based efficiency.
Pylon Network has brought us to the forefront of the energy transition, through our curiosity for innovation, focus on growth and re-invention of ourselves.
This is something that we have worked very hard – and are proud – for. However, what makes us most proud is the ability to attract multi-disciplinary experts and professionals around the project and believe in it and in our team, becoming stronger and wiser every day!
Do you think blockchain will help the growth of renewable energy?
In short, yes! According to a recent report by Navigant Research, energy/blockchain applications expected to reach a total (cumulative) revenue of $19bn until 2028, equal to an annual growth (CAGR) of 67%.
But this does not mean anything on its own. There are many implementation challenges on the way that will be necessary to be tackled and the cooperation among a wide range of regulatory, market design, financing and IT disciplines, is absolutely critical.
At the same time, there are several use cases of blockchain in the energy sector that can offer value, however, they are not all at the same maturity level. For example, some applications like data management, or certificates of origin are the low-hanging fruit, while self-executable electricity exchange at local level, needs more time for its market uptake.
To summarize, blockchain will definitely help the growth of renewable energy, but different segments of the value & supply chains at a time. We are focusing on what we see the “low-hanging fruit” of the energy market at the beginning of its digitalization: the data itself.
Investors are always very interested in how a token is used in the ecosystem. Please provide a quick overview of the roles of PYLNT and PYLNC.
First of all, the double coin model was selected after carefully considering the potential use cases and their legal aspects and implications. It was designed to allow for flexibility in terms of the range of applications in the energy sector.
PYLNT represents the tokenized ownership of the first federated nodes of Pylon Network. With it, come rights of the distributed reward to federated nodes, in the form of PYLNC. New federated nodes (energy stakeholders, such as energy communities) can become nodes by staking PYLNT.
PYLNC is the native currency of the ecosystem and it is not only a payment token. As a matter of fact, using PYLNC as a complete payment for people’s electricity is tricky as we have validated with stakeholders of the energy sector.
The primary role of PYLNC is hence, to represent the utility of the neutral data hub for certifying data transactions between the stakeholders of the Blockchain-supported neutral energy data-hub of Pylon Network.
We are currently validating a number of models on the use case of Pylon’s neutral energy data-hub on collective self-consumption schemes.
Can you explain the value of Pylon having an open source blockchain code?
Pylon aims to create an ecosystem: an ecosystem of services built around the netural data hub, which will unlock truly personalized experience and tailored services for consumers.
This means that cooperation and openness among any developer or company that wishes to be part of Pylon’s ecosystem, is extremely valuable for its success. Furthermore, the open-source code can assist in terms of the implementation, since the risks of technology lock-in and creation of legacy systems are taken out.
Finally, it minimizes any frictions in potential collaborations and partnerships with companies of the energy / IT sector; and both are core parts of our strategy.
Pylon has a number of partners. Could you give an example of how Pylon is currently serving one of your partners?
Over the past year we have identified a number of markets that Pylon Network’s services can offer value and create social impact.
We have been working with both municipalities and energy communities (among others), helping their energy market operations according to our mission: providing tailored digital services with minimal interactions.
With municipalities we are working to help them reduce the energy costs of, both the administration and their citizens in need. Through an analysis of their electricity consumption data we are able to offer them energy saving tips – which in many cases they are considerable. Our most recent satisfied customer, the municipality of Canet d’En Berenguer from the Valencian community in Spain, managed to reduce their administrative annual electricity cost by 12%, allowing them to create an energy efficiency fund for the local community (with the achieved savings). The news made it to several Spanish media outlets and can be found here.
- Collective self-consumption:
As we recently announced our participation in a self-consumption pilot, we are currently very focused on this hot space, having in our hands a validated use case for Pylon Network. Essentially, we simplify billing operations, improve the investment payback and reduce cost and carbon footprint of consumers’ electricity. The value of Pylon Network’s neutral energy data-hub is making the communication among the various stakeholders that are surrounding Self-Consumption installations, more efficient, transparent and secure/private. We recently released an explanatory video on this aspect, which can be found here.
Having been selected for the 2019 World Summit Awards Shortlist, placing Pylon as one of the Top 5 GreenTech digital solutions in the world, what does this mean for Pylon?
Undoubtedly, it is a great honour and we are very humbled. It is a recognition of Pylon Network’s mission and its potential social impact, as one of the top 5 digital solutions – globally – that are addressing United Nations’ SDG. For us it is the best validation of our efforts and our commitment in creating social value and impact.
The larger business world is still warming up to blockchain and cryptocurrency. Have you ever had difficulty securing partnerships due to having a cryptocurrency playing a role in the operations of Pylon?
The volatility and speculation surrounding crypto-currencies is definitely not compatible with the overall risk-averse nature of the energy sector. This is understandable since no-one wants to expose their energy supply (such a basic and important asset) to speculation and potential risk. Our strategy – not only to overcome this skepticism but also to not undermine the adoption potential for Pylon Network – is to not impose the exclusive use of crypto-currencies in the platform.
What has been your biggest business success thus far?
The fact that we already have a great use case within the collective self-consumption space – a booming market at the moment; I believe that this is our greatest achievement so far and it can lead us to an even bigger success in the future – due to its great potential.
Our approach has always been market-oriented, because we think that this is the most common fallacy of blockchain projects — often blockchain appearing as a solution looking for a problem. Until recently, we have been working mostly under the radar, developing the tools & services that can add value to current chain of the energy sector. Over the past few months we have started changing our approach as we are intensifying our commercial and technical efforts in the energy sector.
At the beginning of this new decade – that many things need to be done by all of us – we are full of energy, very optimistic for the future and looking forward to our next biggest success!
Pylon’s 2020 roadmap is forthcoming – what are you most looking forward to achieving with Pylon over the next year?
Our main focus over the next year will be on the implementation of Pylon Network as a neutral energy data-hub in more and more projects of Collective Self-Consumption. With the outcomes and lessons we are collecting from our pilots in collective self-consumption we are gaining important insights on the exact potential and specific value that we can offer to this newly-opened market.. We are looking forward to continuing the exploration of more pilot opportunities on Collective Self-Consumption, with the inclusion of more stakeholders and replicability in other markets.
The market implementation efforts, will be combined with a series of educational material on several aspects of self-consumption, where Pylon Network’s commercial activities are focused.
Furthermore, we will test some architecture and utility aspects of PYLNT & PYLNC, as we validate the self-consumption market and we analyse the outcomes from our implemented demos. We will be looking to better reflect the value of the project’s implementation and the use case of collective self-consumption offers several opportunities for doing so.
In terms of exchange listings, we are still in pursuit of listing PYLNT in a DEX, which will be timed according to our strategy, market uptake and marketing efforts.
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