Oil and gas giant BP has confirmed that it has been testing what it describes as ‘internal tokens’, while also being open to partnering with blockchain startups holding initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The technology director for BP’s digital innovation organization, Julian Gray, spoke on the subject at the recent Blockchain Expo in London. He noted that non-financial enterprises appeared to be more inclined to adopt blockchain technology than the financial services sector.
While Gray acknowledged that BP had not pursued public blockchains, he said ”that doesn’t mean we won’t”. Speaking on the internal token testing, he explained, ”We have done proof of concepts using tokens internally, transferring value.”
While BP had no particular partnerships in mind, Gray said that he ”wouldn’t be surprised” if they did in the future. He described himself as open to collaborating with startups holding ICOs, offering his well-funded innovation department for partnership.
This could be the best way for BP to pursue blockchain technology, as he admitted that internally, there was still a lot of education needed on the subject. Even so, the attitude towards blockchain in the company is softening from the once held view that it was ”hacker territory”, as Gray described.
Moderator Lewis Cohen, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells, commented that it was interesting to hear the technology director from a company like BP speak so positively and openly about the subject matter.
Gray responded: ”The technology is out of the gate and it’s clearly going somewhere and at some point, we will interact with it”. He did stress, however, that all of the points discussed were of his own personal opinion and not that of BP.
The financial services industry have been far more resistant to ICOs and public blockchains than the wider sphere of enterprises. Even NASA recently made headlines for researching the improvement of deep space travel utilizing the Ethereum public blockchain.