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by Scott Clavenna
June 12, 2018

The concept of "tokenizing" renewable energy assets as a way to democratize financing has broad, intuitive appeal.

Tokenization is often mentioned toward the rear of an energy-blockchain startup's white paper, or in the later phases of a product road map. It doesn't offer the same appeal as peer-to-peer trading, but it's an important concept in the blockchain world.

Traditional equity and debt for projects is never easy to come by, and developers are undoubtedly looking for ways to lower transaction costs and expand pools of investors. Blockchain — offering up a distributed ledger, smart contracts and tradable tokens on exchanges that have no technical limits on their geographic scope — does appear at first blush to offer a platform that improves on the crowdfunding trend.

To get some perspective on tokenized renewable energy projects, I did what everyone should do when looking into blockchain: I reviewed a number of white papers, and then talked to an attorney.