More sophisticated energy systems will be needed for the diversified, intelligent electric grids of the future, but blockchain technology — one widely promoted solution — may require a long list of difficult tradeoffs.

Why it matters: The power sector is becoming more distributed and decarbonized, with increasing amounts of intermittent renewables, energy storage and other smart technologies deployed across the grid. If new energy markets can’t make a symphony of these varied assets, the result could be a dysfunctional cacophony.