A group of researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai, China announced that they have patented a blockchain-based method for electricity consumers to trade unused power.
The group explained that their rationale, based on the fact that there is a frequent excess of solar energy generated in certain regions of China. With no current means of trading power directly with other consumers, the owners then have no choice but to let their generated energy go to waste.
The researchers outlined their methods in their patent application released to the public last Friday. Sellers and buyers are assigned nodes on the platform’s network, allowing them to broadcast requests for either sales or purchases. The platform will connect matching buyers and sellers based on criteria such as the amount of energy needed or provided and the price it is sold.
Though the document makes mention of using a cryptocurrency to facilitate this exchange, there is no explicit information on whether a preexisting coin will be used or a new one will be developed solely for this platform.
However, the researchers did explain that the platform would be built on two blockchain systems:
“This idea can be achieved in either a public, private or a consortium blockchain. And in this case, the system has been developed on IBM’s Hyperledger platform as well as the ethereum blockchain…”Fudan University Patent Application document
This new patent is among other developments in the use of blockchain technology outside of the finance industry. Recently, jewelry moguls de Beers announced that they are developing a platform to track diamonds from mine to customer. In the Philippines, voting company Smartmatic is also aiming to use blockchain to enhance ballot security. Other industries may be expected to find uses for blockchain in the near future.