Supply chain management of resources and goods is a significantly touted use case of blockchains, such as Ethereum. In this secured network, public companies could maintain a distributed ledger of all resources from their point-of-origin in a trustable and useable manner to end users. Customers could access the public network and know with certainty where goods originated, how did they travel, and other important supply chain information.
Supply Chain Data on Hashgraph: Currently in many business sectors, resources are purchased for markets without having perfect clarity and confidence of the source of those items. Supply chain data management is currently unable to reliably verify sources or display that information in an unbiased or incorruptible way in regards to products like vegetables, organic commodities, and luxury goods.
Supply chain data could be managed in a public DLT that uses certifications at the origin of a product or item to verify their source. Since Hedera Hashgraph is capable of securing these kinds of transactions in a distributed file storage database, the supply chain could be immune to corruption as long as the input verifications are continually monitored and enforced as genuine. The ability for any participant in the network to corrupt the supply chain data would be impossible.
Energy Sources on Hashgraph: In the energy and utilities sector, many forms of electricity exist that rely on burning coal, natural gas, nuclear power as well as renewable sources, like solar and wind. In global electrical grids, power is indistinguishable in its point of source. In an effort to promote renewable sources of energy like solar and wind, ‘green’ power companies could be empowered by a public DLT solution with their electrical power supply.For instance, imagine an energy company that generates a large amount of renewable energy and records in a Public Utility Hedera Hashgraph Ledger the exact amount, time and method that energy was generated. Using the power of the ledger, any power grid usage of that electricity could have a certification that the energy was made through ‘renewable’ means and that customers could have a preference to pay selectively for those services. This would enable governments and customers to help promote certain forms of energy through a transparent ledger of accountability.
This is analogous to the Organic Food movement that also relies on selling goods that were produced with Organic standards. As customers have learned about the dangers of pesticides, organic foods have become a global industry through the change in practice standards. A similar supply chain of data is required in Organic foods that could also benefit by using distributed ledgers like Hashgraph.
Energy Grid Payments: Electrical power companies can have a wide variety of charges and usage rates for differing parts of the country in an attempt to maximize profits while limiting overuse of electricity. However, it is a well known fact in the recent past that energy companies have used nefarious means to help boost profits through power grid manipulation and price fixing. In an effort to counter this corruptive market force amongst utility companies, a public utility grid ledger could be formed on Hedera Hashgraph with much more transparency of the industry.
A counter solution to this problem could be the development of a community-wide self-sufficient energy microgrid economy enabled by DLT. In this co-operative (co-op) electrical system, residents in a neighborhood that use solar power could collectively buy and sell power as needed through an automated payment system using Hedera Hashgraph tokens. Since the Hashgraph token is a financial payment and security feature to the network, it could be tied to an automated Smart Contract that pays for power used per unit time. Likewise, the hbar token could be paid back to the same user for electrical power given back to the community in the co-op energy microgrid.
In this design, each user in the co-op would have a wallet connected to their electrical meters for usage and for generated solar power. As long as the wallet is originally funded to support usage, it could then be used to earn hbar in a new two-way economy. For example, if a homeowner happens to be on vacation and out of town, he or she could still earn hbars by allowing the Solar Panels on their home to supply the co-op for automated payments.
Having an incentive structure like an hbar payment for solar energy contributions could help promote renewable resources but also encourage a vibrant co-op microgrid in communities. In addition, the amount stored in the hbar wallet for payments on a daily basis could also earn hbars while they are staked, further incentivizing the model.
Energy Grid Security with Hashgraph: Electrical power grids have been the source of cyberattacks and will continue to be according to the US Department of Energy. In an effort to thwart these kinds of disasters, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), under the US Dept of Energy, has begun a cybersecurity solution with the startup company, Taekion.
In this project, Taekion plans to use a blockchain solution for data management and a security solution through the Hedera Hashgraph network. Misinformation of the status of an energy supplier is one method of attack, where an energy grid source is falsely labeled as offline. This scenario was demonstrated in 2016 in Ukraine by a coordinated attack to destabilize a region in the cold winter months. Taekion hopes to build an information and token-based security mechanism with realtime micropayments or other payment structures to ensure good acting in the network, while also preventing malicious misinformation through secured data management.
There are other ways that the Public Utility sector could benefit from the use of a public DLT such as Hedera. If payments for utilities could be automated through an internet of things (IoT) on a public ledger using hbars, monthly bills would no longer have to be mailed, responded to or dealt with. A fixed cost of monthly bill management services for energy grid companies could be markedly reduced with a more efficient, pay-as-you-use business model.
The future of supply chain data management is most certainly going to be on a distributed ledger. The ledger that is most capable of real time micropayments, with the lowest fees and the best security will certainly find a premium place in the market of decentralized energy grids in upcoming years.