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Press release

Berlin, February 21, 2018

Blockchain can improve data security in energy infrastructure

  • Publication by dena and ESMT Berlin looks at international debate by energy experts
  • Smart meters may expose sensitive customer data to hackers
  • Energy sector initiatives  explore blockchain as efficient and secure solution

A new jointly produced publication of the German Energy Agency (dena) and ESMT Berlin details how blockchain technology can increase the data security of smart meters. The English-language publication builds on discussions held by international experts at the blockchain conference EventHorizon 2017.

Smart meters provide energy producers and end users with considerable benefits in improved data collection. Moreover, using decentralized technologies like blockchain, smart meters also create opportunities for peer-to-peer trading, empowering consumer autonomy and choice.

Yet, as some EventHorizon panelists charge, current international protocols for communication between energy suppliers, intelligent meters, and household appliances are insufficiently protected. Smart meters may thus become high-exposure gateways for hackers to exploit for sensitive customer data.

As a decentralized transaction protocol, blockchain has the potential to provide solutions to such vulnerabilities. But EventHorizon experts caution that currently available blockchains are still too slow. “This is changing,” said Christoph Burger, one of the report’s authors and ESMT’s expert in Blockchain. “Initiatives led by groups such as Energy Web Foundation as well as wider industry blockchain alliances such as Ethereum Enterprise Alliance or HyperLedger are developing more efficient blockchains.”

The publication entitled "Vulnerabilities in smart meter infrastructure - can blockchain provide a solution?" is available free of charge at

For more information about blockchain in the energy sector transition, please visit ESMT at

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Martha Ihlbrock, +49 (0)30 21231-1043,
Ulrike Schwarzberg, +49 (0)30 21231-1066,
Sebastian Fasbender, +49 (0)30 66 777-825,

About ESMT Berlin

ESMT Berlin was founded by 25 leading global companies and institutions. The international business school offers a full-time MBA, an executive MBA, a master’s in management, as well as open enrollment and customized executive education programs. ESMT focuses on three main topics: leadership and social responsibility, European competitiveness, and the management of technology. ESMT faculty publishes in top academic journals. Additionally, the business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. The business school is based in Berlin, Germany, with Schloss Gracht as an additional location near Cologne. ESMT is a private business school with the right to grant PhDs and is accredited by the German state, AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, and FIBAA.