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Germany looks to blockchain to help decentralize their energy economy

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The Deutsche Energie-Agentur, also known as DENA — the main governmental group responsible for energy innovation in Germany — is looking to move its energy ecosystem to a decentralized database.

“When infrastructure can’t go down – when the lights need to stay on – the systems you use need to be resilient, and decentralized technologies deliver that,” Parity Technologies head of public affairs, Peter Mauric, told Cointelegraph. Parity Technologies stands as one of the companies involved in DENA’s project. Mauric added:

“The concept of microgrids — smaller, decentralized energy grids to improve resiliency energy generation, storage and distribution — have been a focus for the energy industry for years, so we should not be surprised that similar decentralized approaches are being explored across the entire energy market.”

Working with over 20 other crypto and blockchain entities, Energy Web will build a distributed energy resource database for Germany at the request of DENA, an Oct. 13 blog post from Energy Web detailed, adding:

“The project will enable energy assets in Germany, such as thermostats, solar PV systems, batteries, and electric vehicle charging stations to undertake automatic registration with a decentralized ledger of identities, allowing their utilisation by the German grid for a range of services such as virtual power plants and frequency regulation.”

Germany’s energy innovation wing, combined with Energy Web and numerous blockchain and crypto companies, essentially want to digitize the country’s energy system by storing necessary components on a decentralized database.

One of DENA’s brass, Philipp Richard, explained in the post that the endeavor faces remaining hurdles in terms of setting the project into motion, although blockchain-based digital identities (which are currently undergoing testing) look favorable.

Built for the next generation of energy ecosystems, Energy Web’s open-source blockchain-based decentralized operating system, called EW-DOS, holds as a key component of the new decentralized database’s test model.

The project, however, plans to utilize multiple blockchains, and include technology from KILT Protocol and Parity Substrate — which come from BOTLabs and Parity Technologies respectively, the post said.

“As a core blockchain infrastructure development company, we are excited to be working closely alongside Energy Web and our partners to implement this solution for DENA using Substrate, the blockchain-building framework we built for Polkadot,” Mauric said. Polkadot has gained significant prevalence in the crypto space in recent weeks, seeing the price of its DOT asset rise dramatically.

The new project follows the inception of the Future Energy Lab, which is a broad, recently-announced move from DENA. This project is aimed toward developing a trio of initiatives — “a blockchain machine identity ledger (BMIL), a CO2 emissions visualization, and a smart contract register,” the post said.

UPDATE Oct. 13, 20:06 UTC: This article has been updated with added information and quotes from Parity Technologies.



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South Korean telecom launches blockchain wallet for official documents

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The South Korean telecom giant SK Telecom has announced it will issue its first digital wallet for blockchain-powered digital certificate storage and management with the approval of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security.

According to NewsTomato, SK’s Wallet is compatible with the ministry’s own Government24 digital certificate initiative, which promotes the use of electronic certificate issuance and distribution systems in South Korea in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SK Telecom’s digitalized public certificates include copies of resident registration cards, health insurance qualification certificates, immigration certificates, among other documents previously issued on paper and signed by hand. They will be now issued through a mobile app backed by blockchain technology.

Certificates issued through the Government24 app can be received in the SK’s wallet and later submitted to public entities, financial institutions, and private companies as electronic documents.

In the initial stage, 13 types of certificates will be compatible with the wallet, but at the end of the year, SK Telecom plans to make it compatible with “a total of 100 types” of certificates, including tax-related documents.

Oh Se-hyun, head of SK Telecom’s Blockchain & Certification Business Division, argued that blockchain is an essential technology in a society that is “rapidly changing due to the need for non-face-to-face solutions where we need innovation in the process of submitting and processing certificates centered on paper documents and manual work.”

He also highlighted the security advantages that the technology could bring to such processes.

Recently, it was revealed that one million South Koreans have foregone their physical drivers licenses in favor of a blockchain-powered digital alternative used in conjunction with the PASS smartphone app.

This represents more than 3% of the entire driving population in South Korea, which sat at 32.6 million licensed drivers in 2019 according to Statista.



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In China, most blockchain R&D funds are going toward this segment

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A report published by Securities Daily explained how China’s publicly-listed companies spend the millions they have allocated toward blockchain R&D. The study surveyed 23 companies in China who began working with blockchain back in 2016. Figures suggest that companies allocate an average 20% of their annual revenues toward such purposes. The majority of these funds are spent to further government-related solutions.

The report highlighted that Yuanguang Software, an enterprise software provider, have increased their related research spending by around $24.3 million since 2016. Other companies, such as Xinchen Technology, have actively spent funds on blockchain-related government research projects in an effort to strengthen the nation’s financial sector.

Chen Xiaohua, the chairman of the China Mobile Communications Federation’s Blockchain Professional Committee, commented on how blockchain interest has grown amongst publicly-listed Chinese companies:

“Listed companies can use blockchain technology to improve their products on the one hand. Awareness and brand promotion, on the other hand, use blockchain technology to improve its own technological level, break the structural constraints of the traditional Internet model, and an in-depth layout of the digital economy.”

According to a report titled “2020 Blockchain Industry Development”, Chinese companies have applied for 4,435 blockchain patents — over half of all global blockchain patents. This surge in interest followed Chinese president Xi Jinping’s endorsement of the industry.



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An encryption study revealed a surprising fact about blockchain adoption in Mexico

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A report called “Encryption Trends in Mexico 2020/2021” surveyed a total of 353 representatives from companies throughout Mexico.

The study, published by privacy research center the Ponemon Institute, indicated that 40% of the Mexican companies surveyed were looking to adopt blockchain and cryptocurrencies in some form. Out of this segment, 71% were focused specifically on crypto usage.

The figures also showed that 51% of these companies were intent on implementing blockchain for asset management and transaction handling purposes, while 37% expressed an interest in the implementation of smart contracts. Many of these companies could ultimately use blockchain to improve their security systems and guarantee proper encryption processes, the study said.

Though Mexico is not often viewed as a major blockchain player on a global scale, the country has played an active and ongoing role in terms of adoption. In September, Mexico announced plans to enable a blockchain-based electronic voting system for certain citizens residing abroad. The county aims to make this available in time for its 2021 election cycle.

Cointelegraph Spanish reported in August that Mexican companies had raised over $1.3 billion in the fintech sector. Part of these funds went toward blockchain technology development within the country.



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