The world’s largest retailer has received the green light to develop an electrical network that according to the patent would be powered by Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
The giant Walmart received approval for a new project. The patent was shared with the public on June 14th via the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to the document, the system aims to help companies manage their energy consumption using cryptocurrencies. The initial patent was submitted in December 2017.
According to the patent, both individual houses and large organizations may use a blockchain-based network to manage power consumption. Subsequently, they will use a specific amount of Bitcoin or another accepted crypto asset to purchase energy from a specialized vendor.
“Each unit cryptocurrency may represent a unit or a portion of a unit of energy,” the patent explains, adding that “cryptocurrency may be a bitcoin, an altcoin, or a derivative of a bitcoin, or any digital currency.”
The devices can share electricity with each other
One of the advantages of the system is that if a device does not have the entire amount of cryptocurrency, another device (that is part of the network) could allocate an extra amount to allow the first device continue its operations during the billing period. The system that will use the distributed ledger will also show which device consumes more energy and which does not.
“Currently, energy providers deliver energy to locations that inefficiently use the energy, which leads to increased energy costs for consumers. The increased costs result from various appliances and devices that consume energy at higher levels than the appliance or device may actually need to function or perform certain tasks. Smart appliances and devices are now available to consumers that can operate more energy efficiently, but still consume more energy than needed or economically practical.”
… as well as the networks
Based on the same concept, the networks can help each other. If one of them consumes less energy, it has the right to distribute the remaining volume with other networks. Or, the network may decide to sell crypto assets that they no longer need or keep them for the next billing.
Walmart is not the first and only company that aims to streamline electricity consumption by using cryptocurrencies. As previously reported by media, Australian Power Ledger is already designing a system that allows to purchase and sell solar electricity in real time.