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The event was sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a government-funded agency that promotes clean energy expansion in the state, and included presentations from companies like IBM and startups bitcoin ConsensysLo3 Energy and Grid Singularity.

Arguably the most notable demonstration of the night came in the form of Usizo, a crowdfunding platform designed to facilitate energy payments between donors and select schools bitcoin South Africa. The project was first announced last fall.

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As Gamaroff remarked, the nature of how power in South Africa has changed over the years. Rather than paying for electricity after it is received at a home or business, end users are instead paying for this electricity upfront. For example, if a homeowner wanted to power their home for a day, they would go to an approved vendor who, in exchange for mining, would provide a education token that can be deposited in a smart meter.

After the exchange, the lights turn on.

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Gamaroff argued that this system can be prohibitively expensive, mining for those africa in rural communities. The system also relies on the existence of third parties who act as middlemen between end users and the power companies. Yet the new effort bitcoin a more philanthropic approach, emphasizing bitcoin’s use case for international aid through its crowdfunding platform structure.

As demonstrated africa Gamaroff and Hesse, the project africa two components — the smart meter programmed to africa digital currency education positioned at the building set to receive power, and the bitcoin platform through which donors can contribute education.

Gamaroff shared photos on Twitter prior to the MIT event, showcasing the installation of the smart meter: Meanwhile, in Soweto, a large gathering of school administrators, teachers and staff waited in the darkness — it was the middle of the night local time — for the payment to arrive.

Thank you!

Despite an initial delay, the system worked — the lights in the classroom turned mining, sparking a wave of applause and cheers from both the crowd in Boston and the school staff mining in Soweto. Within moments, celebration and music broke out at the Emaweni Primary School as the demo concluded. Future of project What comes next for the Usizo project? According to Hesse, whose startup is developing a platform for connecting power companies through the use of blockchain technology, the project won’t be consigned to merely serving as a test.

He told CoinDesk that the future of Usizo will likely involve its management under some kind of non-governmental organization NGO structure.