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Japanese Electricity provider experiments with Bitcoin Lightning technology

Mar 13, 2018 Posted /  4966 Views

Japanese Electricity provider experiments with Bitcoin Lightning technology

Japan's third-largest electricity provider is surfacing as one of the initial significant companies in the realm to experiment with the promising bitcoin payments technology. The renowned Chubu Electric Power Co. has begun a proof-of-concept with local bitcoin and Internet of Things (IoT) startup Nayuta. This startup explores how bitcoin payments can be made with the help of the Lightning Network, an in-development protocol that guarantees to cut expenses for bitcoin users.

Chubu has over 15,000 employees and more than 200 power generation facilities and is now employing Lightning to idealize a unique way of allowing customers pay to charge an electric vehicle.In a demo, Chubu and Nayuta displayed how a Lightning payment could be transferred to an electric vehicle charger that, once paid, immediately turned on and began to stimulate a real-life vehicle.

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Chubu Electric Power Co. senior manager Hidehiro Ichikawa told media that the test was also the frame of the company's "market research" into how bitcoin could power its IoT needs. However, he perceived it doesn't until having any definite proposals or intentions to accept Lightning payments from customers.

The Chubu's electric powers story resembles with others fascinated by cryptocurrencies but discouraged by their contemporary capabilities. Nevertheless, an important thing to note over here is that Chubu has been testing with bitcoin for IoT for a considerably great time now, but only encountered a wake-up call when it discerned its blockchain isn't as affordable as advertised.

Ichikawa said, "Since the electricity charge is small, [Lightning's] necessary to reduce the fees for using public blockchains." Nayuta CEO Kenichi Kurimoto concludes this test is an omen and that the industry is moving towards something more tangible, enterprise interest in utilizing bitcoin to transfer IoT payments cost-effectively with Lightning.

"For IoT and blockchain applications, real-time payments are needed. We showed that second layer payments could be the solution," he said.

And not just Chubu and Nayuta are involved in the test. To attest one way Lightning can work for IoT, the two companies fastened on a Lightning node to an electronic vehicle charger and plugged it into a car. They also collaborated with Japanese software startup Infoteria, which coded the mobile app to bring the user experience together.

Once clicking the "send" button, the app links the charger over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which transfers the communication and turns the power on. Prominently, the companies indulged in this test were not using real bitcoin, as other "heedless" experimenters have been doing lately. Instead, they sent duplicate bitcoin on a closed test network that they have added control.

If we put the details aside and focus on the test result- it was a pretty successful experiment and displayed that Lightning can undoubtedly make small, immediate payments for electric vehicle charging.

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Tags: bitcoin Lightning payments Lightning technology

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