Decentralized Electricity Could be Blockchain’s Trojan Horse
Grid+ from ConsenSys offers a user-friendly way for Blockchain technology to massively increase adoption.
The tale of the Trojan Horse first told in Homer’s Odyssey, explains how the Greeks were able to defeat the armies of Troy through a simple trick. Having failed to conquer the walls of Troy through a 10-year siege, Odysseus decides to build a giant wooden horse as a tribute to the goddess Athena, fill it with soldiers in secret and pretend to leave. The Trojans think they have won the war and bring the horse inside, only to be defeated in the night by the hidden soldiers.
The story has come to represent anything that allows entry by strategy or cunning. Similarly, Blockchain has been waging war with mainstream adoption on the Internet of Things (IoT) for years. Use cases abound, but real adoption has remained low. Blockchain technology needs its own Trojan Horse, of sorts.
Grid+, a spinoff from ConsenSys, aims to leverage the decentralizing power of Blockchain technology in order to allow consumers to access wholesale electricity markets. The goal for the company is to decrease costs, increase efficiency in markets and reduces pollutants caused during surge electrical use times.
Currently, consumers buy electricity from electricity retailers (a.k.a. utilities), and as much as 50 percent of the end user’s energy bill goes toward covering the retailer’s marketing, admin and bad debt costs. Grid+ has developed and tested a hardware device dubbed a “smart energy agent” that automates much of this work, allowing consumers to buy and sell energy at near wholesale cost.
The system would allow users the ability to monetize their wholesale electricity from external sources like solar panels, while at the same time, purchasing power from third party sources as well. Together, the overall savings would be substantial. However, electrical autonomy is just the first step in a larger plan.
The Grid+ system is simple and user-friendly with an attractive and easy to use hardware component. Users will be able to use and store Blockchain assets including cryptocurrencies without ever knowing that Blockchain technology is at the root of the system. Users will not need to know or keep track of their private keys since Grid+ is using a novel system called 2-of-3 Blind-Key Multi-signature Security.
Like the Odysseus’ ancient wooden horse, the Grid+ platform acts as a simple and easy access point for Blockchain technology to find its way into consumers homes.
ConsenSys Enterprise Managing Partner Mark D’Agostino says:
“The Grid+ Agent is a cryptocurrency enabled general-purpose IoT device. We are using it in the electricity markets first, but as we move forward it has many potential applications in IoT as well as in distributed ledger systems. Electricity is really just the first application that will enable use to bring Blockchain to the masses.”
The Grid+ client can provide access for users to a potentially huge number of other applications and passive income streams by having the smart energy agent act as a Blockchain enabled IoT device. Some of the near-term non-electricity use cases of the Grid+ smart energy agent include secure in-home crypto banking and running nodes for other Blockchain services such as IPFS or INFURA. Once the Grid+ smart energy agent is inside millions of customer homes, Blockchain technology can reshape the way consumers think about and exchange value.
Join the Greeks
The Greeks under Odysseus’ leadership ultimately won the war. The same will be true of Blockchain technology. Eventually, the better system will prevail. A huge number of users have been interested in joining the winning side and participating in the Blockchain revolution - so much so, that the Grid+ token sale has already sold more than $31 mln in tokens. The sale is continuing for those interested in tasting victory.
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