More than 20 years ago, a computer scientist named David Allen Cohen wrote his Master’s Thesis at the University of Colorado Boulder on the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning for energy prediction and control applications.
This was Cohen’s first published foray into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and its application to the energy sector.
Fast forward to 2003 and Cohen applied the advanced AI concepts to pioneer the industry’s first autonomous intelligent agent-based software platform called GridAgents™, which was a platform that allowed decentralized nodes to utilize software agents that could self-configure, coordinate using peer-to-peer messaging, and autonomously complete complex tasks based on AI and machine learning.
This was the first step in a pathway that would lead to Cohen joining forces with global utility companies and specifically Con Edison to model the entire Manhattan electrical grid, emulating a process through which the platform could self-monitor and automatically control the Electrical Grid in a decentralized way. This was an example of some of the earliest transactive energy applications in the form of automated demand response, advanced distribution automation, and concepts now known as the GridEdge with the ability to integrate distributed energy resources (DERs) into grid operations. GridAgents were also used in the earliest forms of what are now known as Nanogrids and Microgrids, and Smart City managed services in global projects. These applications were very early applications of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications and the emerging Industry 4.0 and the Machine Economy.
So what does this have to do with blockchain technology?
Well, while Cohen was able to achieve the above with custom designed AI software and applications, in the last few years he identified a number of elements that were lacking from the system and that – if this sort of system was to be optimized and adapted to modern-day integration – would need to be improved to meet the control needs of a more decentralized system like the electric grid which some call the “largest machine in the world“.
These were properties such as consensus, immutability and the ability to operate in trustless environments for example.
Evolving Blockchain technologies can help to fill these gaps.
Cohen recognized the potential for blockchain technology to remedy the issues that were inherent to his first iteration of AI technology and set out to find the perfect iteration of this technology to integrate with his own software and to also provide additional trust and security for cyber-physical system applications.
While conceptually applicable, however, he found certain shortcomings in the then-current types and executions of the tech. He needed something which would support super fast decentralized transactions without the limitations of the blockchain that underpins bitcoin. He looked at various advancing but different blockchain architectures such as Hyperledger and IOTA but initially only needed the underlying consensus algorithms that were commercially viable and ready to deploy to enterprise customers.
He found it, almost by accident.
A friend introduced him to two people, both veterans of the computer science space – Mance Harmon and Leemon Baird.
Prior to the introduction, these latter two individuals had teamed up to found Swirlds, a commercial entity set up to develop what Harmon and Baird had coined a Hashgraph. A Hashgraph is designed to be a superior consensus mechanism/data structure alternative to blockchain and, when Cohen was introduced to it, he thought it might be the perfect fit for the AI technology he had spent years trying to perfect.
In his own words:
“I needed to know more so I did a deep dive and in fact, after studying the Hashgraph technology, I became so interested that I joined Hashgraph.”
So not only did Cohen think that Hashgraph was a great fit for his attempts to bring about the next generation of AI technology, a generation that could underpin a world in which billions of devices were connected to one another, learning and acting autonomously to advance and reduce inefficiency in practically unlimited real-world use-cases, he actually joined the team that was set up to drive the commercialization and subsequent adoption of Hashgraph as a technology.
And after an extended stealth period, during which Swirlds has perfected the Hashgraph and has conducted numerous tests to verify its claims that this really could be the future of blockchain technology and – in turn – the internet, the company has now come out of stealth mode and is introducing the Hashgraph to the technology sector in its first form factor as private permission-based networks with just the consensus algorithms in place.
Where Cohen and the team at Swirlds will take Hashgraph remains to be seen. The system is already in use at CULedger, which is running a pilot initiative that is investigating the viability of a private, permissioned distributed ledger (DLT) that can be used by credit unions. It is also being tested as one of the consensus algorithms for a new venture that he launched called dcntral.ai (www.dcntral.com). Dcntral™ is developing a blockchain-based software platform that enables true cybersecure exchange of value and automated transactions for the machine economy and while using Hashgraph as the foundation will eventually become blockchain agnostic and support transactions via cryptocurrencies.
Time will tell whether this technology really can outpace blockchain technology in terms of global integration but, from a technical perspective, it certainly looks as though it has the potential to do just that.
Image courtesy of O’Reilly Conferences via Flickr
Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.
XNO Token of Xeno NFT Hub listed on Bithumb Korea Exchange
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 25th January, 2021, // ChainWire //
Xeno Holdings Limited (xno.live ), a blockchain solutions company based in Hong Kong, has announced the listing of its ecosystem utility token XNO on the ‘Bithumb Korea’ cryptocurrency exchange on January 21st 2021.
Xeno NFT Hub (market.xno.live ), developed by Xeno Holdings, enables easy minting of digital items into NFTs while also providing a marketplace where anyone can securely trade NFTs.
The Xeno NFT Hub project team includes former members of the technology project Yosemite X based in San Francisco and professionals such as Gabby Dizon who is a games industry expert and NFT space influencer based in Southeast Asia.
NFT(Non-Fungible Token) technology has recently gained huge focus in the blockchain arena and beyond, making waves in the online gaming sector, the art world, and the digital copyrights industry in recent years. The strongest feature of NFTs is that “NFTs are unique digital assets that cannot be replaced or forged”. Unlike fungible tokens such as Bitcoin or Ether, NFTs are not interchangeable for other tokens of the same type but instead each NFT has a unique value and specific information that cannot be replaced. This fact makes NFTs the perfect solution to record and prove ownership of digital and real-world items like works of art, game items, limited-edition collectibles, and more.
NFTs are already being actively traded in markets globally. For…
Should Crypto Projects Devote Resources to Community Growth and Marketing?
2020 has been an incredible year for crypto as investors have generated windfall profits and crypto projects have seen their businesses gain the spotlight they’ve been looking for. While Bitcoin has received most of the attention after major institutional investors announced they were accumulating the increasingly scarce asset, many altcoins have also seen their fair share of glory. When looking at all the big winners of the past year, the first project that probably comes to mind is Chainlink, having appreciated by more than 550% YTD and now valued at over $4.5 billion. But, the actual biggest winner of the year is HEX with a YTD return of over 5,000%.
I mention both of the above projects as they have each taken slightly different paths to achieve greatness. Chainlink has devoted resources toward building a fundamentally sound business with many strategic partnerships while HEX has spent vast sums of money on marketing and promotion. Both approaches are valid, but one thing is certain, it is absolutely imperative for crypto projects to let the crypto community know what makes them special. Of course, one of the reasons that makes crypto so valuable is the powerful blockchain technology that most projects are utilizing.
Cryptocurrency vs. Blockchain Technology
It’s important to make a distinction between blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Although they are often used interchangeably, they are different. Blockchain technology and crypto were both created after the 2008 financial crisis, but cryptocurrency…
XENO starts VIP NFT trading service and collaborates with contemporary artist Hiro Yamagata
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 24th December, 2020, // ChainWire //
The XENO NFT Hub (https://xno.live) will provide a crypto-powered digital items and collectables trading platform allowing users to create, buy, and sell NFTs. Additionally it will support auction based listings, governance and voting mechanisms, trade history tracking, user rating and other advanced features.
As a first step towards its fully comprehensive service, XENO NFT Hub launched a recent VIP service to select users and early adopters in December 2020 with plans for a full Public Beta to open in June 2021.
“NFTs are extremely flexible in their usage, from digital event tickets to artwork, and while NFTs have a very wide spectrum of uses and categories XENO will initially focus its partnership efforts and its own item curation on three primary areas: gaming, sports & entertainment, and collectibles.”, said XENO NFT Hub president Anthony Di Franco.
He also added “This does not mean we will prohibit other types of NFTs from our ecosystem However, it simply means that XENO’s efforts as a company will be targeted into these verticals initially as a cohesive business approach.”
Development and Procurement Lead, Gabby Dizon explained, “Despite our initial focus, we found ourselves with a unique opportunity to host some of the works of Mr. Hiro Yamagata. We are collaborating with Japanese artist Hiro Yamagata to enshrine some of his artwork into NFTs.”
Mr. Yamagata has been…