Byrne stepped down as CEO of Overstock in late August. In his letter of resignation, Byrne reaffirmed his faith that “the blockchain revolution will reshape key social institutions.”
The CEO of Overstock’s blockchain subsidiary tZERO, Saum Noursalehi, has issued an update on tZERO’s progress and addressed the departure of Overstock’s CEO Patrick Byrne.
In a letter to investors published on Sept. 6, Noursalehi addressed Byrne’s resignation as the CEO of American e-commerce giant Overstock.com. Noursalehi assured that Byrne’s departure will not have an impact on tZERO’s daily operations and implementation of the firm’s strategic roadmap.
Progress and priorities
Noursalehi further focused on the progress tZERO has made in recent months, pointing out the launch of tZERO Crypto on Android, announcing the digital preferred dividend OSTKO, and obtaining a patent that enables traditional trading systems to be anchored into public blockchains. Per the letter, tZERO has also filed for eight additional technology patents.
As for tZERO’s current priorities, Noursalehi outlined four goals such as improving liquidity on the PRO Securities ATS system, enhancing and scaling its security lending solution, onboarding quality issuers and launching a regulated national security token exchange with BOX Digital Markets.
Lack of clarity
Just four days after Byrne’s resignation, Overstock’s interim CEO Jonathan Johnson revealed that Singaporean private equity firm Makara Capital informed the firm that they “will be not investing in tZERO right now.” Makara’s retreat from investment in tZERO did not appear to be surprising as the firm had already delayed and reduced the investment several times.
In his letter, Noursalehi also reiterated Johnson’s statement that Byrne’s exit from Overstock has nothing to do with the allegedly ongoing regulatory investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC investigation was first revealed by tZERO in mid-December 2017.
U.S. Dep. of Energy Grants $200,000 to Blockchain Company to Secure Grid
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is granting nearly $200,000 to blockchain company Factom to help protect the national power grid.
Blockchain to improve grid reliability and resilience
On July 12, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the funds. The overall objectives of the grant proposed to design a system to improve grid reliability and resilience through the use of blockchain technology. The abstract reads:
“Electric grids are quickly evolving with advanced monitoring and information management as well as communication through connected devices. Although the number of devices and sensors coming online is increasing exponentially, the same vulnerabilities remain in data integrity at the source and during transport. The overall objectives of this proposal is to design a system to improve grid reliability and resilience through the use of blockchain technology.”
Security out-of-the-box via blockchain technology
The proposed approach includes validating and securing devices on the grid that aren’t infected with malware and developing a technology to improve the security of everyday devices used by consumers and providing a cost-effective means to secure any device can out-of-the-box via blockchain technology.
Factom is participating in the U.S. government-funded trial of the blockchain technology to protect the national power grid. TFA Labs, an internet-of-things security startup, is validating those devices on the grid through the use of Factom protocols.
Coindesk reported that the first phase will last until March when TFA aims to have a prototype ready. In case this trial gets to phase two, TFA Labs will collaborate with device manufacturers and could get close to $1 million in funding from the DOE.
Bitcoin is using less energy
Relatedly, Cointelegraph reported that despite record hash rates, Bitcoin (BTC) energy consumption is becoming rapidly more efficient. Data from aggregator Statista accessed on Sept. 5 showed that despite more computing power being dedicated to Bitcoin mining, less electricity is required to fuel it.