The Municipality of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority are launching a field lab named BlockLab to develop solutions based on blockchain technology.
The aim of it is to allow users to conduct transactions without involving a third party. Data technology guarantees the necessary checks and balances and ensures that the transaction is processed automatically.
This makes it possible to structure large-scale networks, chains and markets without the need for a dominant, regulating party.
Blockchain allows users to set up a finely meshed decentralised power network, in which companies can trade residual heat and city dwellers can trade electricity. This gives new impetus to the energy transition in the port and the city.
Rotterdam’s deputy mayor for economic affairs Maarten Struijvenberg said: “There’s this huge buzz about ‘blockchain’, but actually, there aren’t that many fully functional applications.
“We’ll be changing this with BlockLab. This is important, because we need real innovations to launch the next economy. And blockchain can help us realise them.”
Port authority president and CEO Allard Castelein said that he is thinking of the “numerous applications that can be realised within logistics chains thanks to blockchain, allowing us to organise cargo flows more efficiently.”
“This step is seamlessly in line with our ‘smartest port’ ambitions,” he added.
One of the first concrete projects to be presented at the lab’s opening is a blockchain application for stock financing in the port logistics sector, which was developed in partnership with Exact and ABN AMRO.
BlockLab will be starting with a core team of five, who work from the Cambridge Innovation Center in Rotterdam.
The lab will also serve as a knowledge centre for the regional private sector.