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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

You've heard how cryptocurrencies are bad for the environment, now learn how they may save it...


While lately the only news linking blockchain technology to the topic of energy has been negative, it turns out - blockchain may end up being the solution to the world's energy problems.

The controversy revolves around the amount of power consumed in the process of mining cryptocurrencies. Both Digiconomist and Zero Hedge released papers stating that within the next 3 years, cryptocurrency mining alone would need to use the amount of power the entire world uses by 2020, and already uses as much power as Denmark.

Without going too much into it, since that's not the point of this piece - let me say this has largely been an uneducated media that will repeat anything negative they can get their hands on. They used highly disputed data, as mining rigs can vary greatly in power consumption their estimates may be as much as 3x off, and when it comes to the carbon footprint they claim mining leaves - they used the worst power source in their calculations - Chinese coal.

I bring this up because what's better than making the case "No, cryptocurrencies aren't as bad for the environment as they say"?

Being able to say they're also the solution!

Companies like WePower are leveraging the excitement behind blockchain and cryptocurrencies to put green energy production into overdrive. Putting together a team of energy experts, governments, engineers, and investors together to make it happen.

A huge reason green energy production outlets haven't popped up everywhere is simply how out of reach it feels to the average investor. How do you find them? What will you get in return? Then - how does a company wanting to build one small green energy plant for their local town or city find the investors?

Well, a marketplace and a token tied to smart contracts stating it's value is equal to 1 token for 1 killowatt hour of energy solves this. A green energy producer utilizing solar, wind, water power can gain access to the capital needed selling their future energy upfront - by tokenizing it.

“Currently if you want to finance a set of renewable energy plants, either you have to go to a bank and take on debt, or you go to an investor and issue securities. In our solution, producers are selling energy upfront in the form of a token.” says WePower co-founder Arturas Asakavicius.

WePower is already lining up their partners for launch.  They claim to have 1 gigawatt of power already reserved for the project lined up with 3 solar power producers in Spain. Intitally they're targeting larger, established energy producers, but the long term road map includes the average person with solar panels on their home's roof being able to put their excess power out onto the market and earn tokens themselves.

“The end goal is to produce a true peer to peer energy platform, where people would sell renewable energy and also be able to get energy back from the grid.” says Nick Martyniuk, another one of the company founders.

WePower's ICO begins in February and can be found online at https://wepower.network
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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk