Energy industry dips toe in choppy blockchain waters

Tests of permissioned distributed ledger technology display efficiency gains, but complications persist

The course of tech bliss never did run smooth. Blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, promises safer, faster and cheaper trading for commodity firms and financing banks, but much remains to be done to entrench the nascent technology in what is still a heavily paper-based industry spanning vastly different countries.

In late February, ING and Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking announced they had successfully built and used a prototype of a blockchain platform to carry out a real