Innovation That Matters

Bitcoin alternative promises to boost global solar energy

Financial Services

SolarCoin is hoping to provide another digital currency option that is backed by the production of solar energy.

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Digital currencies have become a more promising proposition thanks to the tentative success of Bitcoin, which has even inspired the semi-serious efforts of both dogecoin and Coinye in recent months. Now SolarCoin is hoping to provide another option that is backed by the production of solar energy.

Much like Bitcoin, SolarCoin is a ‘cryptocurrency’ that is in part mined using similar techniques — requiring computer power to crunch calculations that release the coins. In addition, however, SolarCoins also incentivize the farming of solar power. Verified by a third party meter reading, adopters are essentially rewarded for creating green energy — with 1 megawatt hour of energy (around the amount it would take to power a house for one month) equal to one unit of the currency. Some 97.5 billion SolarCoins are held in reserve, to be issued to solar producers submitting claims over the next 40 years. If all of the currency is claimed, the project will have succeeded in incentivizing the generation of 97,500 terawatt hours of solar energy to replace power created from non-renewable resources.

Aiming to offer all of the benefits of Bitcoin — entirely digital payments, borderless and anonymous transactions and decentralized management — SolarCoin has the added benefit of encouraging green activity. Are there other social or charitable causes that could be attached to the new peer-to-peer economy?



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