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    US Department of Energy Eyeing Blockchain Solutions for Security – Seeking Proposals


    According to a recent report, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has tipped that they are currently exploring new approaches to leverage Blockchain technology for improving the current energy infrastructure. 

    From the report:

    The DOE is currently investigating novel approaches to leverage and explore Blockchain technology, initially developed within the financial sector, for the realization of robust fossil energy-based systems.

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    In recent years, the financial world has ushered in a new wave of digital currencies including Bitcoin, which is one of the most popular [Nakamoto, 2008; Andreessen, 2014; Chuen, 2015].

    …A potential example of Blockchain implementation for energy systems would be envisioning nodes within sensor networks as ‘observers’ and the relevant ‘transactions’ as command signals to actuators. Implementation of a Blockchain-based open ledger of all actuation commands ever made by a hardware component may then make it possible to detect and mitigate false command signals (i.e. from hackers) and other cybersecurity threats for the achievement of a robust, reliable system.

    Proposals are sought to develop novel concepts for energy systems that rely on Blockchain technology to assure robust systems that are less susceptible to cyber-attack. Direct use of real-time measurement data from sensor networks and/or “smart” components that feature embedded instrumentation or other enabling technologies that support the industrial “Internet of Things (IoT)” is strongly encouraged. Project objectives will include software development, preliminary testing to establish proof of concept, and an approach for full integration of the Blockchain-based software with system hardware at lab-scale and/or pilot scale.

    According to a report in Econotimes, various other government departments in the US have been increasingly taking interest in the blockchain technology. In July 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sought paper submissions on the topic of blockchain technology and its potential uses in the healthcare industry. More recently, the US Department of Commerce is hosted a public meeting to discuss the potential for interoperability across digital registries and also focus on emerging technologies such as blockchain technology and open source platforms.

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