There is no avoiding the fact that blockchain technology is a radically new idea. For many in this field, this is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it makes it fresh and explosively creative. On the other hand, cryptocurrencies existing primarily in the virtual space can seem like something straight out of science fiction. This is particularly true when trying to explain it to the non-initiated. The question “but what can you do with it?” is as frustrating as it is common.
The Power of Vision
Many early adopters of Bitcoin (Crypto: BTC) and other crypto currencies saw a void in the world before they were exposed to blockchain technology. These early enthusiasts were already disgruntled by the very practical problems caused by things like hyper-inflation, fractional reserve banking and centralized control of business and industry. For these intensely forward-thinking individuals, cryptocurrencies could fill a very pressing need in modern society.
Key elements in the blockchain vision
- Equality of access to monetary services
- Direct individual control of finances
- Creation of a global decentralized marketplace
Earlier visionaries answered the question “but what could you do with it?” on a purely instinctive level. They had a powerful vision of the sweeping changes that universal adoption would bring; a world where every person could have open yet secure access to financial services, making global markets could be truly accessible. From the wealthiest citizen of a world superpower to the poorest member of a developing country, the financial playing field could be leveled. Trade and communication in the market could now be truly global without people being enslaved to either hyper-inflation or local political corruption.
But an idea isolated in the virtual realm cannot really change the world we live in today. In spite of all of the truly momentous achievements by these early developers, the challenge of practical adoption is still looming large for all cryptocurrency enthusiasts. In order to bring these visions of blockchain glory into the practical world a two-pronged approach is needed.
The Duality of Practicality
The first step in any movement is education. This involves much more than simply spouting technical facts whenever someone asks, “what is it?”. There is a great difference between awareness and understanding. When we as blockchain enthusiasts seek to educate people, our goal is to give them the ability to fit the unfamiliar concept of cryptocurrency into the world that they are currently familiar with. In order to do this, we must understand people well enough to link the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies to practical concepts.
An example of this is likening a cryptocurrency token to a snowflake. This can help give someone the intuitive feel for how a token can be uniquely identified and traced through the blockchain, but also traded as just another token to any individual user. Education seeks to help the student understand how to relate and interact with cryptocurrency on an intuitive level and not simply a rational level. The essential element to remember is that this process is a two-way street. The person who is learning about blockchain technology is getting his mind stretched pretty significantly. But, in order to link the unfamiliar with the familiar, the educator must learn about the student as well. Only by seeking to understand each individual, with their unique allegiances, hopes, and dreams, can we bring reality to the vision of a global free economy.
Connecting the vision to the practical involves much more than words. That primary, haunting question “but what do you do with it?” can really only be answered well through actual use. A practical answer can be found in some aspects of cryptocurrency. Things like mining, proof of stake, and masternode governance are practical ways of interacting with crypto currencies. Not all cryptocurrencies have them, and some have more than one, but they provide ways for us to interact, learn and grow. However, these virtual interactions are simply not enough. In order to connect the unfamiliar with the familiar in the physical realm, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have to find out not only which ideas people can identify with, but what types of familiar physical things we can link cryptocurrency to.
Linking Visions, People, and Solar Panels
There is an up-and-coming blockchain project that is seeking to do that exact thing. Solar Bankers is headquartered in Singapore and holds a patent to a unique improvement in photo voltaic technology. However, their goals are much bigger than simply selling solar panels. Solar bankers is teaming up with SkyLedger to build a blockchain-based, complete overhaul of the currently centralized production and distribution of electricity.
This marriage of the virtual with the practical is a distinctive of Solar Bankers. According to team member Alex Jost, “in contrast to most other blockchain-based P2P energy platforms out there (such as PowerLedger), our project is unique because we aim to supply the actual energy-generating equipment along with the blockchain-based distribution platform.”
A Complete Strategy
Along with solar panels, Solar Bankers will be producing smart meters and other light-based energy production and distribution products. Their goal is to allow individuals to go from being merely consumers to “prosumers” capable of both consuming electric power and, using the more efficient solar panels, producing power for sale back over the electrical grid. By using smart meters that will be connected to the Solar Banker’s blockchain, the sale of electricity can be coordinated between those who have power and those who need it. All of this can be paid for using Solar Banker’s cryptocurrency SunCoin (Crypto: SUN). Individuals who get paid in SunCoin can use those coins to purchase more solar panels to increase their output, and thereby their income, or simply trade them for other goods and services. In this way a market that was only open to a select few can now become not only decentralized and more efficient, but also much more accessible.
Jost summed it up quite succinctly in an email conversation with this contributing author; “Our solution is especially interesting for utility companies and communities in developing countries that face high-cost barriers to extending the central electricity grid. We wish to supply a comprehensive package of easy-to-use technologies necessary for running self-contained micro-grids on the local level.”
Solar Banker’s Practical Vison
- Individual ownership of electrical production with high efficiency solar panels
- Community-based micro grids coordinated with smart meters
- Blockchain based decentralized payment system directly from producer to consumer
- Ability to spend SunCoin on new panels to increase capacity
Toward a Practical Vision
Bringing grand visions into the gritty and imperfect world of the practical is a difficult business. It requires much learning and growth on the part of the general public as well as the few who are caught up in the vision. Only by both sides learning and understanding each other can reform be truly effective. In the world of ideas, new ideas have to be made accessible. They must be linked to things that people understand and relate to. Understanding and providing something tangible, like electricity and solar panels, to buy and sell with cryptocurrency is a huge step toward achieving the world changing vision of blockchain technology.
With its practical technology organized and funded by cryptocurrency, Solar Bankers is making great strides towards the practical vision.
To learn more about the Solar Bankers and SunCoin, visit https://solarbankers.com
Contributed by: Josh Justice Follow @josh0mattoc
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