WePower (WPR) is a blockchain project aiming to increase the adoption and usage of green energy. In order to achieve this, they are developing a green energy trading platform.
On the platform, users can invest in and trade green energy, or finance new green energy projects. This will all be done through the use of innovative smart contracts and the WePower native token. In order to realise this vision, the team completed an ICO back in 2018 that saw them bring in record funding.
Can they really execute its vision and how does it stack up to other energy focused blockchain projects?
In this WePower review, I will attempt to answer that by analysing their technology, development, roadmap and use cases. I will also look at the long-term adoption potential and eventual demand for WPR.
WePower was created to make trading and financing of green energy projects an easy process. Users are able to finance new projects as well as investing in existing projects. It’s also possible to use the platform to trade green energy products.
Benefits of WePower
WePower has described itself as the “next generation utility company” which will disrupt the power industry by giving everyone easy access to renewable energy sources. They are planning on doing this through a decentralized, public, blockchain-based platform to even the playing field in energy markets.
What Problems are Solved by WePower?
There are a number of issues and problems in the realm of renewable energy that the WePower team has identified, and which they claim are making it difficult for renewable energy sources to find broader adoption. This has hindered the growth of the green energy industry, hampering development and making new projects more difficult to launch. Some of the problems identified that WePower seeks to resolve are:
- Limited transparency from energy markets;
- A shortage of green energy producers;
- Third-party fees;
- Investments limited to local projects;
- Energy markets closed to new investors.
WePower is an energy trading platform that is focused on green energy sources and was built on blockchain technology.
It uses smart contracts and allows participants to finance new green energy projects, invest in existing green energy projects, or procure green energy for their own use in an efficient, secure and transparent manner. It is also an international marketplace where anyone can trade renewable energy.
One exciting potential for WePower is the integration with IoT technologies, which would allow Internet-connected devices to buy and sell renewable energy through the use of smart contracts.
The WePower platform provides a connection between energy consumers, producers of renewable energy and investors in green energy technologies. It functions legally as an independent energy supplier, which permits it to connect to the energy exchange markets and the energy grid.
WePower Platform Features. Image via WePower Whitepaper
WePower is able to secure data about energy production and consumption through its connection to the energy grid. The platform then tokenizes the data as green energy producers connect to the platform. Investors and traders can buy this energy in the form of WPR tokens, which are created through smart contracts.
Currently, the platform is functioning in Australia and is available only to verified business customers. Eventually, the platform will open to individual users and will become a global platform for trading and investing in green energy.
WePower has a number of features not found in traditional energy marketplaces that have been enabled through blockchain usage and smart contracts. These features are as follows:
One of the proudest features of the WePower team is the transparency offered by the platform. By tokenizing the flow of power in the energy grid they have created a platform that shows accurate production and consumption of energy. Plus, every transaction is recorded on a public blockchain, which makes record keeping completely secure, transparent and immutable.
Green Energy for Everyone
The WePower platform will make green energy easily accessible to everyone. It caters to all parts of the energy chain, from producers to consumers and even investors. Smart contracts are used to show how much energy is available, and how much each user owns and is capable of transferring or consuming.
Because the platform is blockchain based it can be used globally. This is a huge improvement over the current local systems. In the WePower platform energy produced by Australian wind farms can be sold across Europe, and solar energy collected in the U.S. can be bought by users in Canada. WePower makes it irrelevant where energy is produced. Any energy can be bought and used anywhere.
Energy for Consumption or Investment
By tokenizing energy production WePower makes it possible to purchase energy for consumption or as an investment. Plus, the purchase of tokens makes green energy more attractive with each new token sold.
Green Energy from any Source
As the WePower platform and network grow anyone would be able to set up their own power plant and sell energy into the marketplace. This will even work for small producers, and since the anticipated energy production is tokenized by the platform it becomes a legally binding contract to ensure producers deliver the amount of energy they’ve pledged.
The platform allows a buyer to always know exactly how much energy they own now, and how much they will receive in the future. The smart contracts can also be bought, sold and traded, giving buyers the ability to access additional energy when needed, or to sell their energy holdings for profits.
Full details of the WePower network can be found in the project’s whitepaper.
WePower Team & Advisors
The team behind the WePower project has many years of experience in green energy, finance, and digital transformation.
Based in Lithuania, the team is led by CEO and co-founder Nikolaj Martyniuk, who has over a decade of experience in the energy sector. During that time he was involved not only with the construction of conventional and solar energy facilities but also with trading green energy in the markets.
WePower Co-founders and Advisory Board Members
He is joined by CTO and co-founder Kaspar Kaarlep, who also has over 10 years experience in the energy sector. He spent that time working at European utility companies and has the task of turning the ambitious technological aspirations of WePower into a reality.
WePower also has a relatively solid advisory board. For example, they have Peter Diamandis who is a well known Entrepreneur. He is the founder and chairman of the X Prize foundation as well as the founder of the Singularity university.
You also have Trevor Townsend who is the head of Startupbootcamp in Australia. He used to be a managing director at TIBCO software which listed on the Nasdaq in 2004. He has extensive experience in energy trading systems as he designed the first wholesale software for power trading in Australia.
The WePower team has been quite active securing partnerships with other companies and projects. The first of these was a Memorandum of Understanding that they completed with Eleon back in February of 2018. Eleon is an Estonian wind power technology company.
Image via WePower Blog
With this, WePower and Eleon have agreed to start working on a windmill installation financing model that will use the WePower platform. They will also test Eleon’s existing windmills in the WePower platform and explore ways to create custom windmill types into the WePower platform.
In July last year, WePower also announced a co-operation with Green Enesys. This is a company that develops green energy projects in around the world. The partnership will see Green Enesys launching their solar power auctions on the WePower platform.
When it comes to increasing the awareness and adoption of a project, a enthusiastic community is a powerful asset. Hence, I decided to delve into the WePower community to determine its potential.
In terms of their main social media presence, they have both a Twitter and a Facebook. They have about 37k followers on their Twitter and 27k people follow their Facebook page. The WePower team is pretty active through these channels and keeps the community well aware of the latest developments and updates.
They also have a pretty sizable Telegram community with over 23k members. I peaked into the channel and it seemed to be pretty active with regular communication from the Team. Commmunity members in the group were also quite optimistic about the project despite the lull in the price.
Finally, WePower has medium blog that they have used sporadically over the past year. The most recent post there was one that was placed on the 27th of February of this year.
The WPR Token
WePower held an ICO in February 2018, selling 45% of the total token supply of 745 million WPR tokens at $0.125 each and raising $40 million. After the ICO the price continued rising until reaching an all-time high of $0.218685 on March 2, 2018.
Price declined from there, and after a brief recovery in April that took price back around the $0.15 level for several weeks price declined steadily until settling for several months around the $0.03 to $0.04 range.
The bear market in crypto took over from there and price continued declining, hitting a low of 0.009935 on February 24, 2019. It was the only day that price broke below the $0.01 level, and since then there has been a modest recovery that makes it look as if that may be the floor for the WPR token.
The WPR token is an ERC-20 token from the Ethereum blockchain and can be held in any wallet that supports ERC-20 tokens. These include the likes of MetaMask or MyCrypto / MyEtherWallet. Best practice would have you keeping large holdings of coins off of the exchanges.
If you think the price of WPR is attractive and would like to load up on some then they can be purchased at Binance and Huobi Global. There’s also a very small trade volume at a few other exchanges, but those two are your best choice.
WPR does not appear to be that liquid though and it has only seen $87,171 total volume in the past 24 hours. Moreover, over 90% of its volume is on the Binance Exchange so this is a challenge from an order book diversification perspective.
WePower vs. Power Ledger vs. Electrify Asia
As mentioned, there are a number of other blockchain projects that are developing decentralised energy trading protocols. Two of the most well known examples of this are Power Ledger and Electrify Asia.
Power Ledger is based in Australia and was started in Australia and is trying to tokenize Energy trading. They were started a year before WePower got off the ground so they have a slight first mover advantage.
Power Ledger differs from WePower slightly in that they are not focusing exclusively on renewable energy. They are focusing on existing energy grids and developing technology that will optimise its distribution and reduce waste. They also want to move into Carbon trading in the near future.
WePower vs. Power Ledger vs. Electrify Asia
Another notable difference between Power Ledger and WePower is that the former has developed a Proof-of-Stake protocol. This means that those who hold their POWR tokens can not only use them to trade but they can also earn staking rewards on them.
Now, what about Electrify Asia?
The project is quite similar to Power Ledger in that they are trying to develop a decentralised energy trading protocol. However, Electrify Asia is focusing on their expansion in Asia first before they branch out into other regions.
Electrify Asia and WePower completed their ICOs at about the same time so neither has an advantage here. However, one of the advantages that Electrify Asia has over WePower is that they are leveraging their established network and business in Electrify.sg. This has already been trading energy in Singapore for some time.
WePower Development & Roadmap
Although the WePower team has been updating their community about the progress of the project, it is hard to judge just how much work is being done. This is because they have not been updating their public GitHub repository.
WePower GitHub Repos
There are only two repos here and the last commit took place back in October of 2018. Of course, the team could be developing in private for now but it’s unfortunate that the community cannot verify this.
They do have a pretty ambitious roadmap for the remaining part of 2019 so it will be interesting to see what is released as they work towards these goals.
The ultimate goal of WePower is to connect all the players in the energy space, from consumers and producers to investors of all levels and to use this connection to move the green energy industry forward. The team at WePower sees many inefficiencies with today’s renewable energy sector that have prevented widespread adoption of green energy. They want to fix this.
Overall the project does appear to have a lot of potential.
The project certainly has a philanthropic goal of reducing carbon emissions, and this in itself makes the project worthy of consideration. They are looking to solve a real problem and to help the Earth.
One concern is that there is limited interest in green energy investment at this time, and that could reduce the demand and adoption of the WePower platform and WPR token. That’s certainly a risk for WPR investors and they will have to decide if the risk of the project failing is worth the potential gains.
Of course, if increasing awareness and usage of green energy is your goal then the WePower project might be just what you were looking for.
Featured Image via Fotolia