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Retail giant Walmart has won a patent for an on-demand electrical grid that would be powered by bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
The system, outlined in a patent awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, is designed to help organizations better manage the energy usage of individual electrical devices. Walmart first applied for the patent in Dec. 2017.
According to the patent, residential homes or even large, multisite organizations could use a blockchain or another type of distributed ledger to build a network of energy-consuming devices. They could then assign each device a set amount of bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, which it could use to purchase energy from the utility provider over a set billing period, such as one month.