It is safe to say that 2017 is the year of cryptocurrencies and also the blockchain technology which runs their circulation into fame.
And as bitcoin prices skyrocketed, so did the electricity bills of the people mining the cryptocurrency. In 2017 alone, the energy spent on bitcoin mining was higher than the average electricity consumed by 159 countries.
However, some investors still in doubt with that. Mining remains an energy intensive operation, but it can be powered by clean electricity.
This is how the Spanish startup Pylon Network has come up to its own “clean” cryptocurrency, Pylon coin, which will be used to exchange renewable energy.
Explaining the plot of the clean cryptocurrency, members of the energy exchange platform will receive coins for each unit of energy generated from solar panels, and will be able to sell the excess to other users.
According to Gerard Bel, one of the founders of Pylon Network, they have a system of servers called “green miners” which serve as the heart of the project.
“The green miners are like servers validating transactions,” he said. “As in the case of bitcoin, the miners are big computers which solve the algorithm to secure the data.”
“In our case we will implement a secure miner with low-energy consumption,” he added, “and the energy used to run this server will come from excess renewable energy. The energy that was not used is used to maintain the servers,” Bel added.
The startup receives a wonderful feedback, on its successful fundraising round. It already distributed 3,250,000 pre-mined tokens to investors, the team launched an alpha version of its platform and is ready to go ahead with a demo this year.
It will distribute smart meters across Spain, for people to measure their energy consumption in real time ahead of trading, and it’s already eyeing the U.K. and Germany as potential future markets.
The idea of exchanging clean energy through digital currency is not that dissimilar from the concept behind Climatecoin, which proposes to pay people who voluntarily offset carbon.
In their pitch, the team from the blockchain-based platform CoinCircle explained that “usually people rely on government for public goods problems. But governments aren’t doing a very good job with the climate.”
Decentralizing how we decrease carbon emissions, is a way to empower people to take direct action instead of getting frustrated by a sluggish international response to climate change, the developers observed.