Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Microgrids - June 22, 2018
Walmart gets patent for crypto-powered grid
Walmart was awarded a patent for an on-demand electrical grid that will be powered by Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
A report by CCN.com said the retailer won the patent on June 21 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, after submitting an application last December. The patent specifies that large, multisite companies or residential homes could use a blockchain or another type of distributed ledger to build a network of energy-consuming devices. Each device would be assigned a set amount of bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, which it could use to purchase energy from the utility provider over a set billing period, such as one month.
The report notes, “If an individual device exceeded its allocation of cryptocurrency, another device on the network could share its funds with the first device to ensure that it continues to function during the billing period. However, these transactions — which would be recorded on a distributed ledger — would also demonstrate to device owners that a particular device is consuming more energy than it should.”
This is the latest in a series of patents submitted by Walmart to integrate blockchain technology into its management systems, including one for a service that would record a customer’s purchase in a blockchain ledger.
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