Bitcoin continues to prove itself as a revolutionary tool by providing South Africa with ingenious energy solutions.
Photo Courtesy of: Lorien Gamaroff

 

Bitcoin as a ‘digital currency’ is known by most to be utilized primarily for online business transactions. As the currency gains popularity and advances countries toward a single global community, Bictoin is paving the way to make the world a better place through community development activities.

MIT Enterprise Forum, an non-profit organization geared towards connecting and coaching technology entrepreneurs to enabling them to rapidly transform ideas into world-changing companies. This organization has set several community development based events utilizing bitcoin and the blockchain technology.

Just recently, MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge promoted and developed clean energy distribution and theorized how the utilization of blockchain technology could be a great contribution to the modernization of electrical grids in Emaweni Primary School in Soweto, South Africa.

At the event, discussions and demonstrations were made demonstrating the benefits of the Blockchain.

Key speakers and discussants include a roster top personalities from the technology Grid Singularity CEO Ewald Hesse andBankyMoon CEO Lorien Gamaroff.

Gamaroff highlighted changes in South Africa’s power supply industry and their effect on citizens.

In South Africa’s case, electricity is usually paid prior to consumption, like a prepaid phone plan.

Normally, for those who use the prepaid electric system, a consumer would go to an approved vendor and process his payment, after which the vendor would provide a special token that can be deposited in a smart meter to enable the electricity.
In his discussion he said that the current system that South Africa has is relatively expensive, particularly for those living in rural communities.
“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,” said Gamaroff.
He explained that having a high-breed smart meter (which is a bitcoin blockchain-enabled meter) enables an easier access to foreign donors in sending money directly to the meter and immediately generate the power supply without having to go through a long process sending to certified organizations for distribution.

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Gamaroff also added that this system is not really new as it was already launched and have been used in other parts of South Africa, what is new in this system is on how it will be used- and in this case, it is primarily designed for international aid.

In the actual demonstration, coined ‘Usizo’, which is also the name of the project funded by foreign donors using Bitcoin and Blockchain technology to provide electricity to selected schools in South Africa.
Hesse, situated nearly from 8,000 miles, transmitted 1 BTC to the smart meter in the event area in South Africa, where school administrators and the viewing public patiently waited.
There was an initial delay, as the blockchain processed the transaction and after some time the lights in the classroom turned on that had lit a bright feedback from the audience.

 

Source: Stan Higgins – http://www.coindesk.com/south-african-primary-school-blockchain/