As the name suggests SolarCoin (SLR) is a virtual currency which has been designed with a view to supporting the generation of solar electricity. The digital coin was launched four years ago and possesses two ways of minting it as well as distributing it within the ecosystem. One of the methods of minting employs the proof-of-stake concept. Part of the reason for using this technique is because the project is focused on energy efficiency and using the proof-of-work concept like is the case with Bitcoin (BTC) would achieve the exact opposite.
The second method of minting SolarCoin employs the proof-of-generation concept where community members are required to register their solar power generation systems with the SolarCoin Foundation. This is done by supplying relevant documents to the foundation aimed at proving activity as well as ownership of a particular solar power system. Registered network participants receive some payments from the SolarCoin Foundation in their SolarCoin wallets every 6 months.
The annual inflation rate of SolarCoin is 2% and is it projected that the supply that is applicable to users of proof-of-generation on the network will get exhausted after four decades. SolarCoin has a presence in more than 17 countries and counting and since it was launched over 10,000 solar installations have been rewarded for generating electricity. This translates to more than 200 megawatts of power. One megawatt of power translates to one SolarCoin.
As of early last year over 34 million SolarCoins were in circulation and the figure has been growing at a weekly rate of 5,000. In that period approximately 240,000 SolarCoins have been paid to producers of solar electricity in close to two dozen countries.
Additionally two crowdfunding platforms focused on solar generation, TheSunExchange and Lumo, are incorporating SolarCoin. The energy monitoring firm of Belgium, Smappee, also supports SolarCoin. Last year in March ekWateur, a collaborative energy supplier based in France became the first utility firm to accept the use of SolarCoins to make payments.
Green energy incentive
Compared to other digital currencies SolarCoin brings more than financial value to the table. While it is no doubt a viable investment option, its greatest contribution is serving as an incentive for green energy production. In the 40 years that the project plans to be in existence it is projected that 97,500 terawatts per hour of solar electricity will have been generated.
Individuals who don’t possess solar installations and who want to get their hands on SolarCoins can still do so without having to put up a photovoltaic roof. This can be achieved by purchasing SolarCoins on a virtual currency exchange where they can convert their fiat currencies to SLRs. The developers of SolarCoin are working to create mobile wallets which will allow easy-access from smartphones and other mobile devices.
The SolarCoin Foundation is run by economists and renewable energy specialists who are convinced that solar energy could meet a signification portion of the energy needs of the planet. The total supply count of this renewable energy virtual currency is 98.5 billion SolarCoins.
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