Walmart, the North American food and goods distributor, has recently received a patent for an electrical grid powered by Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
The patent was filed back in December of 2017 and was designed to allow households and merchants to better manage their energy consumption and on-demand electrical needs. The system would allow individuals to use cryptocurrencies to purchase energy from an energy provider.
“Each unit cryptocurrency may represent a unit or a portion of a unit of energy. For example, if 1 cryptocurrency unit is set to be equivalent to 1 kWh, the provider interface module 131 may receive a capped total amount of cryptocurrency of 800 for a month to spend on purchasing 800 kWh of electricity.”
The system would allow for seamless exchange of energy and cryptocurrency if a party consumers too much or too little energy for the specified energy payment period. The patent also focused of the decentralization of cryptocurrency since the patent specifically said “the utilization of the cryptocurrency may be operated independent of a central database system, such as a central bank, a central management system, or central authority operated by the energy provider”. Walmart has many crypto-related patents including a blockchain that records customers’ purchases, a service that allows reselling of items with records of purchases, a service to put food on the blockchain, and supply chain management systems on the blockchain.
Increasing adoption of cryptocurrency
The Walmart patent may fly in the face of the open source spirit of cryptocurrencies, but it nevertheless indicates that more mainstream businesses are taking notice of the innovative potential of cryptocurrencies. Walmart is attempting to apply blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies to solving the physical world problems that they have been facing. Many large corporations have to deal with large operational costs and dedicate millions and billions of dollars specifically towards operational research methods to optimize their processes. These companies dedicate so much money because the savings are astronomically greater than the money invested to solve the issue.
Cryptocurrencies offer those same great savings at lower investment costs since much of the research and developmental backend has already been completed on the open source network. These companies just need to complete the last few steps of polishing a finished product to apply to their specific problems. However, by limiting their developmental teams with a patent, they are limiting their chances of finding solutions to help themselves and thus people in general.
Dash emphasizes community solutions
The Dash community recognizes that there are over seven billion people in the world that each have their own unique problems that need solutions. To solve these problems, Dash focuses on an incentivized structure that is still decentralize. The Dash treasury and proposal system allows for community members to be incentivized to find their own potential solutions, put it to a vote, and potentially get funded in order to solve their problems in ways that they believe will work. The lack of centralization not only eliminates centralized control over what gets accomplished, but also increases the probability that an effective solution will be found since many individuals are competing to find the right solution. Dash’s unique structure enables a greater chance of finding more solutions for more people and thus has a higher probability of greater adoption.