(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin technology is starting to seep into the electricity business, shaking up the way payments are managed every time a light switch is flipped.

From New York to Vienna, researchers and utilities are adapting the cloud-based ledger system used to track bitcoins as a replacement for slower administrative systems that require constant human input and multiple spreadsheets. Once set up, the database, called blockchain, automatically records individual actions within a system, formats them, and stores the results in a secure online listing available to anyone anywhere with access.

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