Argentine Gas Regulator Launches Blockchain Network, Expands to Whole Country

Argentina’s natural gas regulator, Enargas, approved the expansion of a blockchain-based gas distribution tracking platform. The system was already piloted by a local distributor servicing over 2 million residents.

According to an announcement on March 18, the system — dubbed Gasnet — was authorized for expansion to the whole country. Before now, the network was used only by Gasnor, a 2 million customer-strong local gas distributor.

A spokesperson from RSK, the blockchain platform used by the system, told Cointelegraph that the regulator pushed for this service expansion due to the advantages experienced by Enargas:

“It is easier to control for the regulator authority and more effective the way that gas distributors share their key processes with the regulator.”

At press time, there is no news of other distributors joining the network. However, IOV Labs — the firm behind RSK — anticipates that others will join soon. 

The advantages of blockchain in gas management

Gasnet aims to manage service providers, carry out transactions when new installation or reconnection certificates are registered, and improve regulatory oversight. To achieve that, the network utilized RSK smart contracts and its RIF second-layer solution. It was launched in collaboration with Argentina-based software development company, Grupo Sabra.

RSK and Grupo Sabra started developing the network for Gasnor in 2019. Now, Enargas authorized the expansion to a national ecosystem available to all distributors willing to adopt it. The regulator and Gasnor are both running their own nodes of the Gasnet network. Gasnor chief information officer, Carlos Amín, commented:

“The implementation of the blockchain solution [...] will enable [us] to streamline our processes, reduce costs, improve time to market, and most importantly provide a much better user experience.”

Blockchain use in the fossil fuel industry

Blockchain is becoming increasingly useful within the fossil fuel industry due to the technology’s ability to help manage complex ecosystems and supply chains. As an analysis published by Cointelegraph in February suggests, oil firms have begun using blockchain to make the industry safer, cleaner, and more efficient.

Saudi Arabia’s state oil company, Saudi Aramco, purchased $5 million shares in a blockchain trading platform called Vakt at the end of January.