Energy Web Foundation (EWF) launched in early 2017. We were co-founded by globally respected energy think-and-do tank Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and noted blockchain developer Grid Singularity (GSy), along with a cohort of 10 founding Affiliates. RMI and GSy—who today both contribute members to our board of directors (i.e., Foundation Council)—saw blockchain’s promise in the energy sector. EWF was born to make that promise a reality.
During the first months of EWF, our testnet leveraged public Ethereum’s Kovan network, but by November 2017, we had launched Tobalaba, our EWF-built dedicated testnet. It was a time of intense energy-sector interest in blockchain technology. Between Q2 2017 and Q1 2018, the industry invested some $322 million in energy blockchain startups. By early February, our own community had grown to 37 Affiliates, and by summer 2018, we had named our founding CEO.
Then, as the energy sector began exploring blockchain technology as a serious opportunity rather than novel curiosity or possible disruptor, the pace accelerated. By March 2019, we had incredibly passed the 100-Affiliate milestone. Meanwhile, Affiliates and other partners have wasted no time adopting the Energy Web, launching proofs of concept, MVPs, and other solutions on Volta, our second-generation testnet, including in cooperation with PJM-EIS, SP Group, Chile’s CNE, Iberdrola, Acciona, Elia, Stedin, and others.
And in June 2019, we launched the Energy Web Chain, the world's first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector. TEO by Engie became the first dApp to migrate onto the live production chain, while companies such as Thailand's PTT began building new commercial solutions on it. It may still be early days for blockchain in the energy sector, but the momentum is clear. We are both proud and excited to be among those organizations developing the technology and championing the movement.