EDF, the world’s fifth largest electrical company, is working with iExec, an Ethereum application.
Testing blockchain’s potential
Of course, this collaboration is only a test for now, but that’s arguably even more exciting. This means that big businesses are not only open to the idea of blockchain, but they’re actively using it.
The company is using iExec to launch its GPUSPH application, a visual simulator. In this testing environment, EDF is using Ethereum to see if it’s possible to properly run the app on a blockchain. Additionally, this could mean even more blockchain-based apps are coming depending on how this goes.
According to CoinDesk, GPUSPH is being used to study “smoothed particle hydrodynamics”. Essentially, this software models different liquids like lava, water dams, and more. Normally the simulator runs on a GPU, but EDF is seeing if Ethereum’s blockchain can bring with more power or some other useful thing.
Speaking to the publication is Gilles Deleuze, a blockchain engineer at EDF:
“In a wider perspective, […] development of distributed computing is a credible scenario for the future, and blockchain may be a nice lever in this scenario. So, let’s explore it.”
Finding its place in the world
iExec has been running on Ethereum for quite some time. It came out in 2016, and tests cloud computing on a blockchain network. This makes it the perfect startup for what EDF is looking for.
Jean-Charles Cabelguen, head of innovation and adoption at iExec said that using the software brings with a ton of benefits. Notably, being able to track what parts of the app are using certain amounts of power. That said, the application still suffers from a big Ethereum problem: scalability.
All applications on Ethereum face this issue. Those that involve online trading, especially, considering they’re constantly fielding transactions left and right.
Cabelguen thinks they’ve gotten around this, however:
“The heavy computing is done off-chain and does not overwhelm ethereum. Afterward, blockchain is used to reach a consensus on the validity of computation’s results. A hash of this result is stored on the blockchain.”
Hopefully this takes off. If so, we may see more big companies looking into how to buy Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies to get things started.