LabChain: An interactive prototype for synthetic peer-to-peer trade research in experimental energy economics
Blockchain-based peer-to-peer (P2P) electricity markets received considerable attention in the past years, leading to a rich variety of proposed market designs. Yet, little comparability and consensus exists on optimal market design, also due to a lack of common evaluation and benchmarking infrastructure.This article describes LabChain, an interactive prototype as research infrastructure for conducting experiments in (simulated) P2P electricity markets involving real human actors. The software stack comprises: (i) an (open) data layer for experiment configuration, (ii) a blockchain layer to reliably document bids and transactions, (iii) an experiment coordination layer and (iv) a user interface layer for participant interactions.As evaluation environment for human interactions within a laboratory setting, researchers can investigate patterns based on energy system and market setup and can compare and evaluate designs under real human behavior allowing alignment of intentions and outcomes. This contributes to the evaluation and benchmarking infrastructure discourse.