It is well-known by now that some of the most powerful and respected organizations and corporations in the world are interested in blockchain technology. That trend seems to be strengthening, as the fifth-largest electric company in the world is apparently using a decentralized application that runs on Ethereum (ETH), as of May 15, 2019.
It should be noted that this is not an official partnership by any means, but is being characterized as a “project test”.
The aforementioned company is none other than EDF, or Electricite de France, one of the largest electric companies in the world. The company employs over 13,000 people and boasts a $33 billion market capitalization. EDF is headquartered in Paris, and is largely owned by the French government.
EDF has launched visual simulator software GPUSPH on IExec, a decentralized application that operates on Ethereum. IExec hopes to change the cloud computing paradigm by providing blockchain-based decentralized cloud computing.
IExec is also one of the oldest applications on Ethereum, launched in 2016. One of the main criticisms of Ethereum is its lack of scalability, and IExec’s head of innovation and adoption Jean-Charles Cabelguen claims that IExec has addressed these issues, stating:
“The heavy computing is done off-chain and does not overwhelm ethereum. Afterward, blockchain is used to reach a consensus on the validity of computation’s results. A hash of this result is stored on the blockchain.”
The reason why EDF is interested in the application is because it allows the corporation to test out how the program works on blockchain, rather than traditional computing software.
Examining Liquid Energy
Specifically, EDF is interested in GPUSPH because it can model fluid behavior, exploring a field of study that is formally described as “smoothed particle hydrodynamics.” EDF wants to study this to examine the effect of hydroelectric dams and other “liquid-based energy”. GPUSPH can be utilized in a scientific capacity, as well, including a way to study lava cooling. EDF is interested in finding out whether there are obvious advantages to utilizing this software on blockchain.
An EDF blockchain engineer, Gilles Deleuze, made it clear that the company had not committed to anything, but was interested in how blockchain can improve overall efficiency, stating:
“In a wider perspective, […] development of distributed computing is a credible scenario for the future, and blockchain may be a nice lever in this scenario. So, let’s explore it.”
While there is no formal partnership, Deleuze has already made it clear that he believes that there are other applications. He said: “The plan is to continue with other open scientific codes requiring possibly other types of workerpools.”