SolarCoin (SLR)

overall rating:

2

planets

Malina Wojtylo
8/2/2021
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SolarCoin is one of the most eco-friendly digital assets offered, commendable for incentivizing real-world strides toward a solar-powered planet. SolarCoin is distributed as a reward to solar installations, unlike most cryptocurrencies distributed in exchange for carbon-intensive cryptocurrency mining. In support of UN SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, solar generators are rewarded to offset the cost of solar power production. In the event SolarCoin calls Solarity, the value and price of SolarCoin exceed the production cost of the solar energy installation and becomes effectively free. All solar generators should partake in this cryptocurrency and those searching for the right incentive for solar installations should look no further. This innovative cryptocurrency is making waves in the eco-friendly crypto landscape as a low-carbon option. As SolarCoin grows, it’s imperative that more in depth transparency is provided to aid in credibility and image.

What it's made of:

1.5

Founded in 2014, the number of SolarCoin to be distributed will last for over a 40-year horizon. According to coinmarketcap.com, there is a total supply of 94 B SLR and as of July 2, 2021, there are 64 M SLR in circulation. SLR is early on within its lifespan and relative to the total supply of SLR available, there are a lot more tokens available. Over the 40-year horizon, SolarCoin will incentivize 97,500 TWhs of global solar energy production. SolarCoin states that it is estimated that in the next ten years, there will be an increase of solar owners by 200+ M, some of which will be incentivized by SolarCoin to generate solar energy. SolarCoin appears to be value driven and hopeful to encourage the production of solar energy. As more and more individuals and companies generate solar energy, it will become cheaper to install. As solar energy becomes more cost efficient to generate and more widespread, SLR will likely become more widespread with the growth of solar. 

SLR is not worth much as of now, but like any cryptocurrency has the potential to skyrocket. SLR peaked on January 12, 2018, reaching $2.3534 USD. During the same time, BTC reached nearly $20,000 USD for the first time during its first major peak. Some speculate the increase in value of SLR was correlated to the rise BTC experienced, which would indicate something similar happening in the future. SLR has potential to rise in value as solar energy becomes more common, which will pay out to those solar generators who receive SLR. Each MWh of solar energy produced through a solar installation awards 1 SolarCoin to the solar owner. According to freeingenergy.com, 1 MW of solar panels will generate 2,146 MWh of solar energy per year. There is potential for those who receive SLR for generating solar energy to make a lot of money if the value of SLR were to rise.

SolarCoin is good at providing information on how to register and get started, but lacks other necessary information on their platforms. The SolarCoin website does not have a lot of information on it or provide recent news surrounding SolarCoin. SolarCoin gives insight on their website and social media platforms about the process of setting up a proper wallet and how to register solar panels. As time goes on and SolarCoin grows, it will be necessary that their website grows correspondingly. It is questionable why a digital asset backed by such a great cause, does not have a presence online that is just as good.

How it's made:

2.5

SolarCoin is flexible and open to new technological innovations and improvements. SolarCoin is technology agnostic, meaning SolarCoin could adopt and adapt to better technological blockchain solutions and improvements in the technology. According to SolarCoin, if a change were to be made, prior consent from the SolarCoin Community by democratic vote would be needed to go forward with the change. SolarCoin fosters community by caring about its user’s voice. In a March 5, 2021 post by SolarCoin on The Medium, SolarCoin announced its migration to a new blockchain technology after 7 years using the same blockchain named SolarCoin Classic Chain (SCC). The post stated that SCC was no longer the best chain in line with SolarCoin’s mission and needs of their users, due to new innovations within the blockchain ecosystem since its inception. I think the migration proved SolarCoin is receptive to changes in blockchain and showed they care about the experience of their users.

SolarCoin’s early SCC ran on its own blockchain, which was a low-cost, low-carbon proof of stake algorithm that used less than 0.01% of BTC’s blockchain’s energy to perform an equivalent transaction. The carbon footprint of a single Bitcoin transaction (851.37 kgCO2) is equivalent to the carbon footprint of 1,886,925 VISA transactions or 141,895 hours of watching YouTube, reported Digicomist.net. Bitcoin’s mining uses the proof-of-work mining process, which requires miners to use machine computing power to solve encryption. Proof-of-work mining becomes more energy-intensive over time because the encryption becomes increasingly more difficult to decipher. According to mic.com, a proof-of-stake network can require 99.95% less energy than a proof-of-work network. SolarCoin’s Energy Web Chain uses proof-of-stake, requiring miners to stake their own shares of cryptocurrency to validate a transaction, so there is no incentive to use energy-intensive hardware like proof-of-work does. SolarCoin stated the migration to the Energy Web Chain was due to its compatibility with Ethereum-wallets and a wider range of software, while continuing to use a proof-of-stake algorithm as a low-carbon chain. This migration showed that the start-up plans to evolve as blockchain does, while keeping in mind the needs and preferences of its users.

Who makes it:

1.5

It’s not clear who exactly is mining SolarCoin, just as most other digital currencies. There is a lack of knowledge about who is mining SolarCoin because it's hard to trace. This is a broader issue within the cryptocurrency industry as a whole, but some people value the privacy that comes with the lack of traceability and transparency. However, those who are mining SolarCoin are directly contributing to the development of solar energy. SolarCoin affiliates are SolarLux, Solarcrypto, SolarValue, Magnefico, and the ElectriCChain. Solar power producers can register their solar installation with an affiliate or other participating solar monitoring platforms. In turn for the services those affiliates provide, they are issued SolarCoins from the SolarCoin Foundation for each claim they verify and facilitate for claimants. SolarCoin should provide coverage on why those specific affiliates and be transparent about how their mission aligns with those of their affiliates. 

SolarCoin Foundation is a registered Public Benefit Corporation in Delaware, United States. The founders of the SolarCoin Foundation are Francois Sonnet, Christopher Altman, Joseph Zitoli, and Nick Gogerty. The foundation is an open community project run by volunteers, a board of solar and financial experts, and by the founders. SolarCoin’s website is simple and easy to understand, yet leaves out important information about the makeup of the company. For example, it took digging around to find the founders of SolarCoin. Some cryptocurrency founders do not want to be named; however, this was not the case for SolarCoin. Interviews revealed that the founders are proud to be part of SolarCoin. The professional pages of the founders of SolarCoin reveal that they are experienced entrepreneurs and scientists who are dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment. Some people buy into cryptocurrencies without knowing anything other than its market history and trajectory, but those who are interested in SolarCoin are not likely to be within that group of investors because they are more likely to value transparency and actively seek for a transparent coin. SolarCoin’s business model and target demographic are more likely to investigate the foundation more extensively. SolarCoin needs to provide more information by expanding their website, presence on social media, and other business platforms to make information, such as making the makeup of the company, more accessible.