Welcome to Last week in blockchain. My name is Wim Pelgrim, a blockchain realist and with this weekly podcast you’ll stay up to speed about all the major developments on the blockchain. And please leave a review on iTunes so my podcast will get higher in the search results, share it with your friends and if you listen to this podcast for the first time: subscribe using your podcast app.
This week a lot of new cool apps: Urbit, fresh water monitoring, buffering electricity transmission, overseas voting in Italy and 73 more cool applications.
As of this week, my podcast is on Spotify!
Background articles and research
Companies en applications
The next social network, but then built on blockchain. A lot of companies are trying to build it. Steemit is a well known network, but last month Urbit started. Well, last month: the first ideas of a new cloud network started in 2002, but the applications they build were launched in early 2019 and they connected their network to Ethereum. But What is Urbit? It give users their own personal cloud server that can connect with each other and do just about anything their users may wish for them to do. These cloud servers become a social network when they connect. But why would you like to use blockchain in this case? Urbit writes: “But, since Azimuth identities are valuable, you don’t want to put them in an self-hosted PKI that isn’t generally recognized as secure. Arvo is still young, we’d prefer to use an existing system for people to secure their property. Moving the Urbit land registry to Ethereum is an easy and obvious solution to this problem.” I’m trying get my own Urbit cloud server, but to acquire an Urbit point (address) I have to buy it or get it from a friend and I haven’t found out how to do either. But the video on their website and their vision is cool.
An other application announced last week is (again) in cooperation with IBM. The Freswater Trust, SweetSense Inc and IBM are combining IoT technologies, satellites and blockchain to monitor groundwater usage in one of the largest and at risk aquifers in North America. The project’s scientists and engineers will demonstrate how the blockchain and remote IoT sensors can accurately measure groundwater usage transparently and in real-time. The sensors will transmit water extraction data to orbiting satellites and then to the IBM blockchain platform hosted in the IBM Cloud. The blockchain will record all data exchanges or transactions made in an append-only, immutable ledger. And again it isn’t blockchain as a stand alone application, but blockchain as part of a broader technological solution.
A lot of energy companies are working on blockchain to balance the energy networks with new power coming from solar and wind, which makes energy production more fluctuating then in the past. TenneT, leading European electricity transmission system operator (TSO), started two blockchain pilots last year. Using blockchain energy companies paused and started the charging sessions of electric cars when advised by TenneT. This “smart charging” creates a buffer in the network. Over 150 Tesla’s placed bids on the blockchain to become part of the reserve or to use energy to charge the car. They are contributing to a balanced energy grid in real time. After this successful pilot, TenneT wants to expand the test with other charging stations, cars and energy companies. And as I mentioned in the beginning of this podcast: a lot of cool apps and this is a successful one developing further!
And then to an application in a field I talked about before: elections on blockchain. It is a field hyped a year ago, but also with a lot of pitfalls. Italy is doing something interesting. They are adding blockchain to their existing voting practice for voters living outside of Italy. The Italians overseas have been missing out on voting and when they participated, their votes have sustained irregularities. To enhance the existing process will take place in the electoral certificate. The vote will be replaced by two adhesive QR codes which the eligible voter will use on the two envelopes that have been used in passed votes. The QR-code is the identification information and is combined with a identifying detail using a phone call to a switchboard. This way each card will become traceable and recognizable. The only thing I don’t get (and can’t find additional information on) is how to preserve the voting secret when you have a personalized QR code on your voting envelope.
And Breaker Mag has a lot more cool apps for us in a list of 73 blockchain organizations working on social good. Check out apps focused on Funding and Donations – Environment – Food & argriculture – Gender and Sexuality – Government – Healthcare and medicine – Identity and banking and Information and education. I spoke about the XRP-tipbot and CIVIC before, but found more cool apps I’ll be discussing in the next few weeks.
Governments and law
Oh my god!
And if you want to read more, check out these articles: Facebook bought blockchain compay Chainspace, 11 universities join Ripples research initiative, Google is creating a search engine to navigate Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, Oracle’s (talked about in podcast #34) first dozen cloud blockchain applications are now live, Everypedia is going to verify primary sources via blockchain based geospatial software and Providence St. Joseph health acquires Lumidec.
And that wraps up this Last week in blockchain. Check my website: www.wimpelgrim.nl for more info on me and my podcast and a full transcript of this episode. Check the links mentioned in this episode in the description: Urbit, fresh water monitoring, buffering electricity transmission, overseas voting in Italy and 73 more cool applications. And if you like what you’ve heard, share this podcast with your friends and on social media and subscribe to this podcast in your podcast app. See you next week!
Check my website: www.wimpelgrim.nl
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