Power Ledger leaving Ethereum behind for next-generation Solana technology
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Perth-based Power Ledger is moving its energy trading platform from one based on Ethereum to a clone of Solana, the high-performance blockchain project that has been turning heads since its launch 16 months ago.
Co-founder and executive chairwoman Dr Jemma Green said that the permissioned, fee-less version of Ethereum that Power Ledger has been using since 2017 served its purpose in the short term, but its limitations were always very apparent, including being able to process just 10 transactions per second.
“Obviously there are solutions that have been brought with layer two and sharding, but they have really yet to be proven and the cost around them, how expensive they will be,” she told Stockhead.
Electricity markets are moving to be more fine-grained and granular, with billing in five-minute increments rather than 30, Dr Green noted.
Power Ledger spent about 12 months researching different options including Ethereum scaling solutions before settling on Solana, which boasts of being able to process 50,000 transactions per second.
“We really just decided the Solana blockchain is very fit for purpose for productivity,” Green said.
Professional validators are being invited to apply to run a node on the private Solana-based blockchain, where they would process and verify transactions in exchange for rewards.
Power Ledger’s ERC-20 POWR token will remain on the Ethereum mainnet, but there will also be an opportunity for POWR tokenholders to stake their tokens to these professional node operators in exchange for rewards.
“It’s a license to access our software platform, you still need POWR to do that and this is just effectively creating an additional use case, with the POWR token used for staking purposes on our blockchain,” Green said.
The POWR token was up 2.0 per cent this afternoon to US19.9c. The value of the token is up 108 per cent this year, although down from over US50c in April.
Dr Green said the Power Ledger technology is gaining increased adoption, including a program announced in April with Carlton & United Breweries, one of Australia’s largest breweries.
The Asahi Breweries-owned company is using Power Ledger’s platform to buy solar power from Australian households with solar panels, and paying them in cartons of beer.
“It’s very cool. We call it peer-to-beer trading. Anyone on the east coast of Australia can sign up for that offer. It is very tempting for every $30 you sell to the brewery, you get a carton of beer which is otherwise $55.
Power Ledger says it has a total of 28 clients in eight countries, including ekWateur, France’s fifth-largest electricity retailer, as well as New Delhi, India-based Tata Power.