U.S. state and federal lawmakers, as well as federal regulators, are increasingly focusing on the role of blockchain and distributed ledger technology in ongoing efforts to combat climate change and to facilitate the transition from carbon-based fossil fuels.
Jim Gatto is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.
Blockchain technology and smart contracts continue to show their potential for disrupting the electric energy industry. Through the use of blockchain, electricity markets could become more decentralized, efficient, transparent and automated. However, blockchain users must have a good understanding of the regulatory landscape in which they will be operating to ensure compliance with applicable laws, and traditional utilities should be aware of the opportunities and pitfalls the technology could pose. Please see attached the latest Sheppard Mullin Six Items to Consider concerning blockchain in the electric industry. …
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A Washington state federal court recently addressed claims relating to rates that cryptocurrency mining companies pay for electricity in Grant County, Washington. The court rejected all of the miner’s legal claims. The dispute focused on the rate classification that this utility applied to crypto miners as explained below. Due to various risks, the electric utility assigned the miners to a newly created rate class referred to as “Evolving Industries,” resulting in a higher rate class for the miners. The miners were I-“rate” with this decision.
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