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Blockchain technologies are impacting many sectors, including banking and financials, Ecommerce and retail, but also healthcare and insurance, media, and even politics.

Some of the more interesting potential or emerging uses of blockchains include things like smart solar power grid utilization, voting systems and combating cyber threats and attacks.

The general principle of blockchains is that users interact with each other directly, mediated by the encoded rules of the protocol, with all transactions recorded in a decentralized (ie. distributed) in a way that is highly resistant to tampering and takedown.

Solar on the blockchain?

Solar smart grids as envisioned by startups like Solara, can employ blockchains to mediate power generation and usage. Electricity sources have traditionally been highly centralized, with generation and distribution controlled by large regional power companies.

But thanks to home based solar installations, more consumers are becoming mini-generators of power, with excess capacity. Blockchain-based power grids can encourage sustainable energy by providing customers control over the source of energy as well as information on its production. 

Customers using a blockchain-based smart-grid could evaluate electricity suppliers' pricing, plans, and other features before purchasing directly from them. Consumers could also exchange their created resources between themselves, as well as with their neighbors and the grid. Smart contracts could be used to facilitate real-time energy trading.

In addition, blockchain in power generation startups like Solara employ tokens to verify the assets that generate electricity. Tokenizing electricity allows individuals to share renewable energy ownership and output while also increasing liquidity in the renewable power financing sector.

Green Stream Holdings Inc., made news in late July for establishing a program to offer a portfolio of tokenized solar panels, as well as a user-friendly, blockchain-based platform for long and short-term participation.

According to CEO EO James DiPrima:

“Our new business model seeks to capitalize on the increasing local and international investment movement in the clean energy market. We intend to make purchasing solar energy assets more accessible by decreasing traditional barriers to entry through the tokenization of solar panels and creating a marketplace on our platform that allows coin buyers to stake their tokens on various solar arrays.” 

The company’s services will include inspecting and gaining valuations of properties and providing stock market type indicators on tokenized solar panels, and completing transactions by ensuring security and transparency through the blockchain engine using smart contracts.

Green Stream envisions the Green Rain portal will become a one-stop solution for many global or local solar panel transactions from a laptop or smartphone. DiPrima explained further:

“Through our initial token offering, we will aim to launch this ambitious project through the acquisition and tokenization of our first solar panel properties. We expect those token holders to be able to utilize their tokens on our platform to participate in exciting solar projects that they may not otherwise have access to individually. We all may benefit from returns from rents, price appreciation, and profits generated from the sale of properties.”

Another solar based crypto project called SolarCoin (SLR), debuted in 2021. The initiative aims to make solar energy more accessible to everyone on the planet by minting one SLR token for every megawatt-hour (MWh) generated by solar technology.

SolarCoin is distributed as a reward for solar installations, with the objective of having the token's price exceed the cost of solar energy generation. As a result, it becomes effectively free through a process known as Solarity.

According to the initiative, solar energy can currently be produced for less than $12 per MWh in some nations, and the price continues to fall. Its objective is to make the generation of this sort of energy more appealing. Users must now upload evidence to verify that they are producing solar energy, but the Internet of Things may one day make this procedure automatic.

Blockchain Use To Counter Cyber Security Threats

One of the blockchain’s essential innovations has been to ensure the integrity of data. The decentralization and security protocols that authenticate information to the blockchain database represents an effective way to combat problems which currently exist in centralized systems.

Businesses all across the world amass vast amounts of data, often in central, siloed locations. Data stored in a single location (and backed up using common replication techniques) is far simpler for hackers to manipulate, than decentralized blockchains.

Specifically, blockchains rely on several components to achieve a high level of resilience to data manipulation hacks:

  • Distributed Architecture
  • Consensus validation mechanism
  • Encryption

Because there is no single point of failure in a distributed network, it is operationally robust. The risk is spread among numerous nodes, so a single node or a few nodes would not be enough to corrupt the ledger. As a result of decentralization, ransomware assaults on the Blockchain network are less tempting. Information kept centrally, on the other hand, is more vulnerable to assaults.

Validation consensus is another feature that protects the blockchain. According to consensus, a certain number of nodes must agree on whether the new data block is legitimate and suitable for inclusion in the shared ledger. The consensus process checks the integrity of previous transactions and fresh data blocks on a regular basis.

To influence the validation process and tamper with the ledger, a hacker would need to co-opt the consensus mechanism by compromising enough nodes. By deploying sufficient nodes and utilizing network rules, the Blockchain network aids in the prevention of such assaults.

Because of its protections against cyber threats, more use cases of blockchain are being developed in applications like Instant Messaging, IoT  (Internet of Things) security, Secure DNS and DDoS, Provenance of software, and more.

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