The U.S Department of Energy has granted nearly $200,000 to TFA labs’s which use Factom protocol, one of the earliest blockchain companies that pitched blockchain technology to enterprises.

Only 12 July 2019, the department has awarded the funds to the company. The main objective is to design a system to improve grid reliability and resilience by using blockchain technology.

A public extract has been issued saying,

“Electric grids are quickly evolving with advanced monitoring and information management as well as communication through connected devices. Although the number of devices and sensors coming online is increasing exponentially, the same vulnerabilities remain in data integrity at the source and during transport. The overall objectives of this proposal are to design a system to improve grid reliability and resilience through the use of blockchain technology.”

The statement further continued to say that,

“If carried over into Phase II, the resulting technology developed as a result of this project would help improve the security of everyday devices used by consumers in addition to Industrial equipment.”

It added that by using blockchain technology, finding out-of-the-box solutions for security is possible. The proposal includes embedding the cryptographic device within the vendor hardware by working with the manufacturers. It would prove to be a cost-effective way of securing any device.

Integrating the technology of blockchain to the national power grid would result in the system efficiently handling the increasing demands of power requirements and also build the ability to scale for future needs.

On Thursday, 5th of Sept’19, TFA Labs announced that it is experimenting with Factom’s protocol to validate that the devices on the grid are not affected with Malware. TFA Labs is an internet-of-things (IoT) security startup company.

TFA Labs is also looking at storing raw data, such as the health and status of devices, on Factom’s blockchain in some cases. While in other cases, the company is aiming to assign a digital identity to the firmware, or permanent software installed on devices. If the files were to be manipulated, they will produce a cryptographic hash that does not match the digital identity. It would immediately show that something is amiss.

Dennis Bunfield, CEO of TFA Labs has said that either raw data or data hashes of the data can be stored.

The first phase of the project would last until March. TFA aims to have the prototype ready by then. If the experiment was to get phase II, TFA Labs will collaborate with device manufacturers as per the plan of the Department of Energy. The company could get around $1 million in funding from the department in such case.

Factom, on the other hand, has been separately working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to record camera and sensor data on the blockchain and with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to see if they can digitize records of individuals who live in remote parts of the world.

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