Factom, an enterprise-grade blockchain solution platform that has been around for five years, will see its technology used in a US government-funded project that will explore the use of blockchain to secure the national power grid. TFA Labs, an internet-of-things (IoT) security startup that recently received a $199,660 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), will use the Factom blockchain in an experiment to see if blockchain technology has the potential to improve the security of the power grid across the country.
We are excited to announce that we have received a ~$200k grant from the US Department of Energy to research securing the US Electric Grid with @FactomProtocol blockchain and Signed At Source™ technology! https://t.co/EcWt4VHZtM
— TFA Labs (@LabsTfa) September 5, 2019
Countering Cyber Threats
Factom, a stalwart formed way back in the crypto dark ages of 2014, has often been cited as one of the stronger candidates for a long term future in blockchain, and this trial could see the first headline success in their technology. With the threat of cyberattacks against the likes of water and energy facilities increasing, those responsible for such facilities are looking for new ways to protect the nation’s infrastructure, and it’s no surprise to see blockchain technology being one of the technologies being tested.
As part of the project, TFA Labs will potentially store raw data, such as the health and status of certain devices, on the Factom blockchain, alongside assigning a digital identity to the devices’ firmware. If the files are manipulated in any way they will produce a cryptographic hash that will be recognized as not matching the original. Phase 1 will last until March 2020 by which point TFA Labs hopes to have prototype system in place. Should the prototype be approved, phase 2 will involve physical manufacture which could see TFA Labs receive close to $1 million in funding from the DOE.
Factom Expands its Influence
Factom is already working with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to record data from cameras and sensors onto the blockchain, and also with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to see if their technology can digitize records of individuals living in remote parts of the world. Like other startups, Factom has also dabbled in mortgage products and land registry on the blockchain during its time, with a potential trial involving clinical data also in the works.