This is part of "Fight The Power," a series about the people, organizations and countries transforming the way we think about energy for the better.One way to get a job with the company you think will help save the planet is to say you'll work for free.That's what Canadian Meagan Cojocar told David Martin two years ago over coffee.She was 21 years old. The company was Power Ledger, co-founded by Martin. The tiny Australian startup was at the forefront of a trend in solar energy: using blockchain technology in solar energy trading. Power Ledger had pitched an app: If you have solar energy panels, you can download the app and enter a marketplace for selling excess energy directly to your neighbors. The kicker? You can set the price, instead of being ripped off by stingy power companies.Blockchain was Power Ledger's answer to keep people using green energy. It could be the future of distributed renewable energy, putting that power in the hands of the consumers.All I understood … [Read more...] about Forget bitcoin. Blockchain has plans for solar energy
While the $1 billion mark is largely an arbitrary milestone, it is still a figure that brings attention and at least a perception of legitimacy from media and investors. We’ve seen billion-dollar “unicorn” startups appear almost overnight in industries such as augmented reality, drones, and the internet of yhings. But the cryptocurrency and blockchain space has been slow to join the club.At this year’s IoT Tech/Blockchain Expo in London, Blockchain-based startups were described as having “passed the proof-of-concept stage” in the eyes of investors, but funding was still largely coming from within the community itself, with rewards unlikely to appear in the near future while the industry is still largely in its nascent stage, especially outside the realm of finance.According to a 2015 report from technology M&A specialists Magister Advisors, we were due to get five bitcoin/blockchain-based Unicorns in 2016. We actually saw zero. Fast forward … [Read more...] about Blockchain-based companies have finally joined the unicorn club?
It is a strange world where lots and lots of people start getting genuinely excited about databases, but the epic promise of blockchain is that it can join the dots on all those data siloes. This could, if it all works out in practice, mean that your health records would be easily and securely accessible from anywhere, you could verify your interviewee’s Harvard degree, and governments could unequivocally be monitored against their development goals. The trouble is, like most visionary technology, there is some way to get there and at present the picture looks a little cloudy.It is also impossible to get clear figures on the true potential size of the market because it is still such early days. Markets and Markets believes it be worth $2.31 billion by 2021, while Grand View Research puts a figure of $7.74 billion by 2024.There are also several different ways to break down the wider blockchain picture—some of the most comprehensive work done here is Coindesk’s … [Read more...] about Blockchain market 101: A $7.74B tech potential
The tension between the Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) camps has been gradually bubbling up over the past couple of months. But now things have escalated to the point where even Litecoin founder Charlie Lee felt compelled to make his stance on the matter known. Yesterday, popular wallet provider and Bitcoin Cash proponent Bitcoin.com (not to be mistaken with Bitcoin.org which develops for the main Bitcoin blockchain) announced a new integration with ShapeShift which would make it possible to exchange BTC for BCH without ever leaving the wallet. But there was a minor issue: contrary to referring to BTC as Bitcoin as most people (read anybody who isn’t in the BCH camp) do, the announcement listed BTC as Bitcoin Core – a distinction Bitcoin Cash supporters, including Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver, like to make to annoy BTC-heads. While this might seem like a minor mishap, BCH supporters have long been trying to push Bitcoin Cash as the real ‘Bitcoin’ – … [Read more...] about Litecoin’s Charlie Lee: There is only one Bitcoin – and it isn’t Bitcoin Cash
Ever since my friends and I set up a Digicash server to sell music and artwork with a digital currency called eCash representing real gold, back in the ’90s, I’ve been waiting for the day when cryptocurrencies—digital currencies that operate independently of central banks by using encryption to generate units and verify transfers of funds—would transform the world. Cryptocurrencies are finally here, but not exactly in the way that I envisioned. And so since last year, I’ve found myself issuing warnings instead of accolades about the latest trend in the frothy world of cryptocurrencies: ICOs, or initial coin offerings. The initial idea was a pretty good one—blockchain technology could be used to issue new cryptographically secure “tokens” or “coins” that are easy to transmit peer-to-peer. The coins could be sold to fund open-source software projects and other services that people find useful but are hard to finance with … [Read more...] about Bitcoin, Blockchain, and How You’re Getting Swindled