U.S. Dept. Of Energy to Fund Blockchain Research
In a surprise announcement to some, the United States Department of Energy has announced a $4.8M research grant to Universities. The purpose of the grant is to develop the next generation of scientists, researchers & energy experts in the US. One of the key areas of focus of the grant is emerging technologies which includes blockchain & peer-to-peer internet protocols.
One can easily see the interest of the U.S. Dept. of Energy with blockchain technology, as Proof-of-Work mining has been criticized as inefficient and too energy consuming. Unlike other U.S. government agencies, it seems that the Dept. of Energy understands that cryptocurrencies and blockchain is here to stay.
As per the announcement, the Department of Energy will select up to 12 projects to receive funding in this grant.
Governments Funding Blockchain?
This is not the first time that the U.S. government is funding blockchain research. In August 2018 The U.S. National Science Fund (NSF) granted $800,000 to a research oriented distributed ledger based at the University of San Diego called Open Science Chain.
The Australian government has also spent $700K on blockchain research in May 2018. Other governments such as the EU have also publicly committed funds to blockchain research. One can also assume that the Russian & Chinese governments are also funding research, although discreetly.
It is important not to see this as an entire change in attitude by the U.S. government. While the Dept. of Energy might be funding research, the Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) will still through hurdles in the progress of cryptocurrencies.
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado