Concerns about energy production, resource consumption and its impact on the environment are one of the dominant topics of debate on the global stage. The intensive energy costs of mining Bitcoin and other proof-of-work cryptocurrencies are also frequently pointed to as a serious downside to the emerging asset class.
While environmental concerns and the cost to reward debate rages on, there is one group of cryptocurrency projects that has the goal of bringing blockchain technology to the global energy grids as a way to encourage renewable energy generation through a flexible marketplace that connects energy buyers and sellers.
Three energy-focused projects that have seen triple-digit gains since the beginning of 2021 are Energy Web Token (EWT), Power Ledger (POWR) and WePower (WPR).
Energy Web Token (EWT) is the operational token for the Energy Web Chain, an open-source enterprise blockchain designed to support and further application development for the energy sector.
According to the project’s website, the “Energy Web is accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by unleashing the potential of open-source, decentralized, digital technologies.”
The project launched in June of 2019 and has since grown to an extensive network of partners with some globally recognized companies including Volkswagen, Siemens and Hitachi.
Once fully developed and integrated, its virtual machine could help connect the different areas of the energy sector including grid operators, software developers and vendors.
One of the biggest price movers for EWT in 2021 came at the beginning of March when the token was listed on the U.S.-based Kraken cryptocurrency exchange.
The subsequent announcement of a partnership with Volkswagon on March 4 and the release of the EasyBat battery compliance app on March 16 further helped provide a boost to the token which went on to establish a new all-time high of $19.85 on March 18.
The Power Ledger platform was established in May 2016 with the goal of creating an operating system for new energy markets that is capable of trading renewable energy and environmental commodities on a local and global scale.
Based out of Australia, the project aims to utilize blockchain technology to create a system where every electrical resource or power device has a digital identity that is connected to a real-time market that facilitates the transactions between them.
POWR operates on the Ethereum (ETH) network as a peer-to-peer energy exchange platform and it utilizes a two-token system comprised of POWR and Sparkz to “ensure consistency across Power Ledger’s platform,” according to the project’s website.
Sparkz are stable tokens that are used when units of electricity (kWh) are bought and sold on Power Ledger’s platform.
Trading activity for POWR began to pick up at the end of January as discussions about renewable energy began to gain traction in the media.
The March 3 announcement of Power Ledger’s partnership with India's largest integrated power company Tata Power-DDL kicked off a price rally which resulted in POWR rallying to $0.504, its highest level since 2018.
WePower is a blockchain-based green energy trading platform that connects “energy suppliers, corporate buyers and energy producers for easy, direct green energy transactions.”
According to the project’s website, the WePower platform is “the easiest way for companies of any size to buy green energy directly from local producers,” and the platform aims to make “corporate green energy procurement as easy as online shopping.”
WPR is an ERC-20 token that functions as a payment method on the WePower Network. It's used to standardize and increase the available liquidity in the existing energy investment system and should also help to reduce prices for network participants.
Trading activity and token began to pick up at the beginning of February when the project handed over its “first fully-featured Elemental platform to Mojo Power.
Following the launch of the Elemental retail marketplace on Feb. 1, the price of WPR surged from a low of $0.011 to a high of $0.05 on March 24 as conversations concerning renewable energy and sustainability in Europe and Australia took place.
Increased global attention on climate and energy production-related issues suggests that this niche slice of the crypto sector is ripe for further gains.
Projects utilizing blockchain technology to optimize global energy marketplaces are well-positioned to increase their market share as distributed ledger technology goes mainstream.
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