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Electricity through Bitcoin

On February 2016, MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge organized an event about clean energy distribution and how the blockchain can help this so important sector. 
This event was sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, an organization who wants to diffuse clean energy, of course. 
One of the most interesting project was the one presented by Usizo, a crowdfunding company who is trying to improve energy payments between users and schools in the African country. 
During the event Usizo presented its demo that has allowed to turn the light on at the Emaweni Primary School in Soweto.
CEO of the blockchain startup Bankymoon, Lorien Gamaroff, explained how electricity in South Africa works: rather than paying for electricity after it is received, users have to pay for it in advance; and it could be very expensive for those who live in a peripheral area. Also, this system relies on third parties who act between final customers and power companies, so prices get higher.
“A prepaid payment system makes the energy a lot more expensive because those vendors need infrastructure, there’s traveling cost, and it’s also very expensive to make those payments. If you’re in a remote area and your lights go out, there’s no way to make a payment, no easy or electronic way to do it.”
But this situation can be fixed thanks to digital currencies:
“You can now have a smart meter, a bitcoin blockchain-enabled meter, and foreign donors can send money directly to the meter without having to send it to an organization that will take or re-distribute the funds.”

How Usizo works

Usizo works thanks to a smart meter that accept digital currencies and through a crowdfunding platform where people can donate their bitcoin.
Donor can see the electricity needed by a school and can know how much he will contribute based on the BTC he donates.

What’s next?

During a recent interview with Grid Singularity CEO Ewald Hesse, Usizo won’t be only a test. 
According to him, in fact, the startup will partner with some non-governmental organizations to keep the lights on and help the education in Africa. 
Grid Singularity is a startup who use blockchain technology to develop an energy data exchange platform to facilitate energy data analysis, energy trade validation, trade of green certificates, investment decisions and smart grid management.

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Amelia Tomasicchio