U.S. Dep. of Energy Grants $200,000 to Blockchain Company to Secure Grid

U.S. Dep. of Energy Grants $200,000 to Blockchain Company to Secure Grid

U.S. Department of Energy grants $200,000 to blockchain company Factom to help secure the power grid.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is granting nearly $200,000 to blockchain company Factom to help protect the national power grid.

Blockchain to improve grid reliability and resilience

On July 12, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the funds. The overall objectives of the grant proposed to design a system to improve grid reliability and resilience through the use of blockchain technology. The abstract reads:

“Electric grids are quickly evolving with advanced monitoring and information management as well as communication through connected devices. Although the number of devices and sensors coming online is increasing exponentially, the same vulnerabilities remain in data integrity at the source and during transport. The overall objectives of this proposal is to design a system to improve grid reliability and resilience through the use of blockchain technology.”

Security out-of-the-box via blockchain technology

The proposed approach includes validating and securing devices on the grid that aren’t infected with malware and developing a technology to improve the security of everyday devices used by consumers and providing a cost-effective means to secure any device can out-of-the-box via blockchain technology.

Factom is participating in the U.S. government-funded trial of the blockchain technology to protect the national power grid. TFA Labs, an internet-of-things security startup, is validating those devices on the grid through the use of Factom protocols.

Coindesk reported that the first phase will last until March when TFA aims to have a prototype ready. In case this trial gets to phase two, TFA Labs will collaborate with device manufacturers and could get close to $1 million in funding from the DOE.

Bitcoin is using less energy

Relatedly, Cointelegraph reported that despite record hash rates, Bitcoin (BTC) energy consumption is becoming rapidly more efficient. Data from aggregator Statista accessed on Sept. 5 showed that despite more computing power being dedicated to Bitcoin mining, less electricity is required to fuel it.

Waves Platform and The Abyss to Jointly Launch Blockchain-Based Games Marketplace

Waves Platform and The Abyss to Jointly Launch Blockchain-Based Games Marketplace

Blockchain platform Waves and game distribution platform The Abyss will jointly launch a blockchain-based marketplace of digital goods and in-game items.

Open source blockchain platform Waves and blockchain game distribution platform The Abyss will jointly launch a blockchain-based marketplace of digital goods and in-game items.

In a blog post published on Sept. 5, The Abyss revealed its collaboration with the Waves Platform, aimed at the development of a blockchain-powered marketplace of tradable goods and in-game items. The marketplace will enable users to purchase items with Abyss Tokens and sell them to other users.

Waves blockchain-integrated tokens

The integration of Abyss Tokens with Waves blockchain will allow game developers to incorporate Abyss Token operations directly into their Waves-based games. Commenting on the development, Sasha Ivanov, founder and CEO of Waves Platform, said:

“We recognize the huge potential of the $100+ billion gaming sector as a major use case for blockchain which perfectly fits with current gameplay mechanics and trading of goods. We strongly believe that the gaming industry will be an enthusiastic adopter of blockchain, and partnership with The Abyss will drive its widespread use.”

Earlier collaborations

This spring, The Abyss announced a partnership with Epic Games to allow developers on the platform access to the Unreal Developers Network. At the time, a The Abyss spokesperson commented on the partnership in an email sent to Cointelegraph:

“The program is aimed at attracting more gaming studios and titles to The Abyss platform, as well as supporting Unreal Engine developers in cryptocurrency adoption. More specifically, they will be able to accept ABYSS tokens both for game and in-game purchases in legal and easy-to-use way.”

In late June, Waves introduced an upgrade to its blockchain that enables decentralized applications on the platform, which will purportedly enable developers to perform calculations  necessary for use cases on the Waves blockchain.

Startup Tests New Ethereum Sidechain Following Coinbase Investment

Startup Tests New Ethereum Sidechain Following Coinbase Investment

Offchain Labs, an enterprise-focused blockchain startup, has launched an Alpha version of its Ethereum scaling solution with new investment from Coinbase.

Following investment from Coinbase Ventures, Offchain Labs has opened up the Alpha version of its Ethereum (ETH) scaling solution, dubbed Arbitrum.

Enterprise-focused blockchain startup Offchain Labs said that their solution will enable processing speed of more than 500 transactions per second for Ethereum applications, industry-focused news outlet Crypto Briefing reported on Sept. 5.

Arbitrum has reportedly secured new investment from Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of major American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Faster than Ethereum

Deploying Arbitrum, developers can build smart contracts on Ethereum’s Solidity code. However, unlike regular Ethereum decentralized apps, such smart contracts are compiled by the new solution’s compiler. Both code and transactions are executed off-chain through sidechains or state channels, with Arbitrum claiming to be eventually much faster than Ethereum.

In early April, Offchain Labs raised $3.7 million in a seed round led by crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital. With the investment, Offchain aimed to solve major problems associated with enterprise blockchain implementations by bringing more scalability and privacy. At the time, Offchain co-founder Ed Felten said:

“We’re working to build a platform for smart contract development that provides what we think developers want, a combination of scalability so that you can scale to more transactions per second, more users, and to contracts that have more code and still have more data in them.”

Yesterday, Fred Wilson, a financier and co-founder of venture capital firm Union Square Ventures, revised his bullish opinion on Ether. Wilson acknowledged that the underlying Ethereum network is experiencing problems. He wrote:

“Ethereum, as many of you know, confounds me. It has shown the way to so many important things; smart contracts, programmable trust-free computing, potentially proof of stake, and a lot more. But it remains hard to build on, scaling issues abound, and many developers are looking elsewhere.”

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