Blockchain Firm Fantom Unveils Pilot Project with Afghan Energy Giant

Blockchain company Fantom has shared details of a new partnership with Afghanistan’s largest energy company. The deal will see Fantom develop the technology for an auditing system that will enable Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) to drive greater efficiencies. If successful, the pilot could be extended, showcasing the capabilities of Fantom’s blockchain stack while supporting DABS’ efforts to provide power across Afghanistan.

Although the country may seem an unlikely testbed for a blockchain pilot, Fantom has form for inking agreements in the country. Earlier this year, it struck a deal with the country’s Ministry of Health to develop a blockchain pilot for combating counterfeit medicine. The country, despite lacking the infrastructure of more developed nations, has proven receptive to new technology. Blockchain adoption in a country like Afghanistan provides a clear demarcation between old systems and new, while innovation can flourish in an environment that is mercifully free of red tape.

From Pilot to Prototype

“Fantom is excited to be working with DABS, the largest energy company in Afghanistan,” said Fantom CEO Michael Kong. “We are looking forward to using the latest software technology tools, including blockchain, to modernise their infrastructure and create long-term efficiencies. We hope to conduct significant business in the country going forward, which has a lot of potential.”

The blockchain company estimates it will take four months to build out the prototype commissioned by DABS, after which Fantom will demonstrate its capabilities to the energy firm. The potential for blockchain to provide greater transparency and accountability in an energy industry saddled with suboptimal infrastructure is substantial. If Fantom’s prototype lives up to its promise, the company is likely to see further commissions in a land where it is fast gaining a reputation for innovation.

Enterprises Latch on to Blockchain

Professional service giants have begun to develop an interest in the blockchain space, seeing the potential for their existing expertise to expand into a new arena. Fast growth in the emerging market convinced PwC’s Hong Kong division to accept bitcoin payments from clients. That has led to 200 staff in 20 countries now deployed on crypto-related projects focusing on tax, accounting, audit, and assurance services.

PwC is not alone in this endeavor, with KPMG seeing increased revenue from its blockchain initiatives over the past year. These projects have focused on defining blockchain strategies, participant onboarding, governance, and operating models, such as assisting Microsoft, Tomia, and R3 in creating a blockchain solution for 5G networks, as well as its own blockchain-based patent to enable trusted artificial intelligence. R3 is a top competitor for IBM’s (NASDAQ: IBM) blockchain solutions.

Ernst & Young have moved closer towards public blockchains, working with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and ConsenSys to develop Baseline Protocol, an open-source project running on Ethereum, aiming to demonstrate how enterprises can securely collaborate over the Ethereum network without exposing data.

Rounding out the big four, Deloitte too now advises clients on the architecture, digital design, and development of blockchain solutions, offering its “Blockchain-in-a-box” demo platform for prototype projects. From the US to Afghanistan, blockchain is now being used to solve real problems across a broad range of industries.

Disclosure: No positions. This Op-Ed is written by Reuben Jackson. Insider Monkey News Department isn’t involved in the production of this article.