The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded more than $1 million in grant for InfoBeyond Technology LLC, a blockchain-focused software company.
The grant was awarded to the project titled "Gridchain: An Auditable Blockchain for Smart Grid Data Integrity and Immutability," which aims to make use of blockchain for data security in large scale power plant systems.
The grant was funded by DOE's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which is awarded in Phase II of development for a particular project known as "Continue R&D for Prototypes or Processes." The agency lots a two year time for the project as well.
The project described itself as a blockchain solution that would enhance the security of the power grid while helping them protect classified data from potential cyberattacks. This is especially valuable in these times when the number of ransomware attacks has gone all-time high.
Bin Xie, the InfoBeyond founder, and the project's principal investigator commented on how their blockchain initiative can offer critical infrastructure and explained:
"Gridchain, a blockchain-based technology, uses techniques that ensure the integrity and immutability of power grid data and provides a critical infrastructure with an entirely new level of resiliency to cybersecurity threats."
The firm, in its statement, also noted that even though several cybersecurity solutions have come up to counter these threats, there is no standard infrastructure that includes smart contract security and data feed integrity to ensure data safety.
The Gridchain project would be the first of its kind to integrate distributed ledger technology with the Open Field Message Bus (OpenFMB) architecture. This grid architecture has been adopted by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB), whose primary focus is on decentralization of power and interoperability.