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ICO Analysis: Power Ledger

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Renewable energies are all the rage, for good reason. It is not hard to imagine dozens of companies, globally, prospering exponentially into the future as they deliver cost-effective platforms which enable people to buy and sell their power without going through the traditional power grid.

There is an inconvenient truth facing the traditional energy supply industry: at some stage, it will be cheaper and more effective to self-supply than to rely on the network to provide low-cost and reliable and clean energy.

For those whom this statement is not true about, it will still be increasingly true over time that peer-to-peer markets offer much better prices for consumers. Ultimately legacy, vertically-integrated companies are embedded in the power grid, and so even if they begin to cede control to the decentralized and distributed networks of tomorrow, there will still be tolls and such owed to them. Disruption does not always mean the disrupted are without a parachute. According to a 2015 Deutche Bank study that Power Ledger notes in their whitepaper, in much of the developed world it is already the case that self-generated power is equal or less to the cost of delivered energy.

Brief Overview

In Power Ledger, we have a direct competitor to Suncontract. MyBit also has designs on this market, and others are sure to follow. They all are creating essentially the same product. Luckily for both of them, the budding market of “bi-directional energy flows” is large enough to sustain these two and many more to come. Their execution could be better than Suncontract, or not, and yet it could still turn out to be a prosperous endeavor. For those that have yet to investigate Suncontract or read our report on it, we’ll give here an overview of the concept:

As more and more people create their own energy, a growing class “prosumers” emerges. These are people who both buy and sell, based on their own lifestyle choices. An investment property owner might offset some of his costs by using huge portions of his rooftops for solar panels. More and more people will reach a point where it becomes cheaper for them to invest in the hardware to have their own solar operation, and doing so will create greater surpluses of energy. Currently when people do that, they do not have a great bargaining position – they can sell it for whatever the grid is willing to pay, or they can just not sell it. Power Ledger and similar plays aim to create marketplaces where people will be able to sell their energy to those who need it more – electric vehicle charging stations or even cryptocurrency miners might find particular use in such a market. To partake in said marketplaces, they’ll have to acquire the token of exchange in these markets, which is where the value of such tokens is derived – from the demand for such tokens.

Trends Support Notion

While it’s true that home consumption from the grid proper will only continue to decline, studies of the energy industry have shown that current levels of production as well as delivery networks may likely not be adequate to keep up with demand brought on by increasing reliance on electricity as opposed to other forms of energy. People will be creating their own energy, and selling surpluses to industries which need ever more of it. Bloomberg says 7 trillion dollars will go into renewable energy over the next decades. The Energy Information Administration recently announced that renewable energy production has surpassed nuclear energy for the first time. According to Power Ledger, their idea is ironically a way to give the legacy energy industry a new lease on life. By becoming participants in decentralized, trustless marketplaces which happen to be centered on an industry with which they are deeply familiar, revenues for traditional power companies could actually increase.

What Makes Power Ledger Unique?

Power Ledger is already in operation. This is the first key piece of information. In 2016, they launched the first peer-to-peer energy trading platform in Australia. The platform works by allowing individual markets to exchange fiat currencies for Sparkz, which can be used to exchange for POWR tokens. POWR tokens are the base unit of the ecosystem, whereas Sparkz are earned and sold in practice by the energy producers and buyers. Earlier this year, they were able to get banks on board for this purpose. Also earlier this year, they were able to strike a deal with a large retailer in New Zealand to demonstrate the abilities of the Power Ledger platform. Since their first successful experiments, they’ve only increased the number of other companies interested in leveraging some aspect of the Power Ledger platform.

Power Ledger is maximizing use of decentralization. Rather than giving itself an endless mission of improving the ecosystem, Power Ledger would like to see applications developed on top of its, for lack of a better word, protocol. While they are developing applications in a number of categories themselves, others could develop competing efforts which made use of the system. Having a plug-in style base is better when trying to approach large, established companies about working with you – often enough, they might be willing to work with a new outfit if they believe they can be mostly autonomous. Therefore, being able to simply develop their own stuff on top of the API is better for all.

Notable Applications

Artificial intelligence and remotely deployed properties come to mind when thinking of increased energy demand moving into the future. One application that Power Ledger has in mind is what they call autonomous asset management. Imagine being able to deploy a vending machine virtually anywhere, not even having to include the cost of its energy use in agreements with property owners? Power Ledger can enable this by allowing your machines or a separate machine which could handle it for you, to purchase their own energy. This goes in tandem with several other unique visions of the future, including automatic restocking.

Most of the rest of its applications are more energy-industry facing, but consumer-facing applications usually follow industry-facing ones anyway. Having generated so much activity and buzz around their product already, and having a minimum viable product long before they’ve even bothered to ask us for any money, is a huge plus for Power Ledger.

Having already analyzed Suncontract, we have something to compare Power Ledger to. We will try not to focus too heavily on a competing effort, but inherently one has to be a better play than the others. Therefore there are two areas we will focus heavily on. One is the technical nature of their plan – is it more detailed than the very high-level offering of Suncontract? Secondly, the team. Is Power Ledger’s team more or less experienced and competent? These factors and others will determine what the safety of Power Ledger as opposed to Suncontract.

Ledger Assets

Last year, the same group of people propelled the Ledger Assets program forward. This is an ongoing proof-of-stake blockchain for Australian companies to settle transfers and manage assets. It made a lot of headlines.

Power Ledger Team

Co-founder and Chairperson Jemma Green has a keen awareness of the needs of 21st century power consumers. “Jemma is a research fellow at Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, whose doctoral research into “Citizen Utilities” has produced unique insights into the challenges and opportunities for the deployment of roof-top solar PV and battery storage within multi-unit developments and the application of the blockchain.” Her role is more in guidance of the company, having experience in risk management.

Day to day operations are conducted by David Martin, whose two-decade career in the electricity industry lends credence to his abilities. Most his electricity career was at Horizon Power, but he also spent six years with Western Power, both Australian power providers. The insights that are developed over a career like this are valuable, and it would seem that many of the early successes of Power Ledger to date can be attributed to the connections made during Green and Martin’s careers, among others. The thing stands on its own legs, as well, but knowing who to talk to about trying something experimental, within other companies, is a valuable asset.

CTO Nuno Martins is listened concurrently as a blockchain expert and the CTO. Most articles related to him which present themselves have to do with his current endeavor. This is partly because an established professor at the University of Maryland shares his name in an also technological field of study. We were able to find a 2013 presentation made by Martins, although the contents of it were not available. This presentation is in relation to the Cloogy software, a smart home application regarding power consumption from a company called Intelligent Sensing Anywhere. The presentation lists him as a Product Manager in Portugal at that time. Martins does not give a bio, so we must mostly guess, considering his LinkedIn profile is also basically blank.

Senior software developer Garry Hasler spent twenty years at IBM in what we today called DevOps. Mainframe and large systems experience like is is absolutely a necessity for the scope of the project Power Ledger is engaging itself in, and a successful career at Big Blue is far and above anything we noted about the team at Suncontract.

POWR / Distribution Details

There are two token distribution models that come into play with the POWR/Sparkz dynamic. They draw it as such:

In the first model, where traditional power companies already have the footing and often the legal control of the grid, the model allows them to play the part of generating the Sparkz tokens, if they choose, and then selling them. People buy and sell Sparkz within the platform, as these tokens are generated by the actual token of the platform that you will speculate on – the POWR token. “Prosumers” are paid in Sparkz. Under this model, the Sparkz may then also be redeemed with the gateway or “Application Host” which issued them. As such, many people could interact with the platform and never have a clue what cryptocurrency was at all. Which is fine.

In the peer-to-peer model, POWR tokens operate on parameters defined in the smart contract and convert the tokens purchased to Sparkz tokens based on the local market. This is explained in a bit more detail:

Sparkz tokens are priced, issued and redeemed in the local currency of the Platform Participant. […] Purchasing a sufficient amount of POWR tokens allows Application Host’s access to the Ecosystem from where they can convert their POWR tokens to Sparkz and on-board their customer base. […] POWR tokens are required to generate Sparkz. Sparkz are a local market level token and are priced for the exchange market they are deployed in, e.g. In Australia 1 Sparkz = 1 cent AUD. They allow for frictionless transacting […] .

In short, POWR tokens are a proof-of-stake staking coins, and rather than generating more POWR tokens, they generate Sparkz. Existing industries are one where we can see Proof-of-Stake being a viable approach, because such industries are filled with companies who have capital they can put up as stake. The problem with many proof of stake coins has been lack of economic incentive to actually stick with the program – fluctuations in the market encourage dumping and so forth. In the case of this project, this risk is lessened by the idea that a great many of the POWR token holders will be directly invested in the economy, in that a quick exit on speculation is not ideal for them. This will also increase the long-term demand for the tokens to be taken back off the market, making it easier to sell at higher prices. Like many ICO tokens, POWR tokens will have a utility and they will be the only way to achieve it. Therefore holding a bag of them when others go in search of them is not the worst position to be in.

The Verdict

So very much to like about Power Ledger. Definitely one to watch. They are running an ICO in the coming months in order to expand global operations, and details are still forthcoming on that.

Risk

Risk here is significantly less than with Suncontract. We have a working, minimum viable product. We have an in-depth plan of execution. We have working technology, rather than theory. Regulatory pushback could slow Power Ledger and Ledger Assets down from realizing their potential in the short-term, but long-term they will probably overcome as many obstacles put before them, like most innovators are forced to do.

Another potential risk is that the entrance into the ICO market, and the issuance of new tokens for sale with the purpose of raising funds, could destabilize the market they’ve already got going. This probably explains why they are approaching their ICO stage very carefully.

For this relatively minor problems, we deduct a 1 point for the unknowns.

Growth Potential

Limitless. In the future there will be more robots than human beings. It’s not crazy to say that analyst predictions on energy consumption are even conservative, being that the rise of cryptocurrency mining doesn’t play a serious role in their calculations, but a sustained push in this direction could make it a cultural normality to get your power from a decentralized market and use some of it to mine decentralized currencies which you spend on other decentralize markets as well. Power Ledger has the right execution and great timing. Their growth potential is massive. We give them the same 5 points granted to Suncontract, plus 2 more for having a minimum viable product with a lot of buzz around it, plus a half-point for ingratiating themselves with literally dozens of partners in the industry they seek to disrupt.

Disposition

Thus we reach the conclusion of 6.5 out of 10 on Power Ledger. This is a great opportunity if it’s within your interests, but probably not a low-hanging fruit. Despite everything going right, actually being able to liquidate any tokens you might acquire during their ICO could prove problematic once the market has its way with the influx of tokens. Long-term profitability is probably there, though, with little reservation from the author in that statement.

Investment Details

Hacked reached out to the team at Power Ledger, and they said they should have more details within “the coming weeks” regarding their ICO. If Power Ledger has piqued your interest, you’re encouraged to get on their mailing list.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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5 stars on average, based on 2 rated postsP. H. Madore has covered the cryptocurrency beat over the course of hundreds of articles for Hacked's sister site, CryptoCoinsNews, as well as some of her competitors. He is a major contributing developer to the Woodcoin project, and has made technical contributions on a number of other cryptocurrency projects. In spare time, he recently began a more personalized, weekly newsletter at http://ico.phm.link




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Analysis

XRP/USD Price Analysis: Israel’s Largest Financial Services Company GMT Partnering with Ripple

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  • Ripple has another large financial firm leveraging its technology, as the list keeps on growing.
  • XRP/USD will search for buyers within $0.3000-$0.2500 range initially, ahead of possible $0.2000 return.
  • XRP/BTC looks surprisingly encouraging, subject to a potential breakout to the upside.

XRP in line with the rest of its peers across the cryptocurrency market remains firmly on the back foot. XRP/USD is running at its third consecutive session of losses. At the time of writing, the pair has dropped 7% over this mentioned period. A renewed wave of selling pressure hit the market after the price was allowed some time to consolidate. The market was very much within range-bound mode, before the bears struck again. As a result, XRP has firmly given up the $0.3000 mark.

Israel’s GMT to Utilize Ripple Technology

The largest financial services organization in Israel, GMT, has announced a partnership with Ripple. They will be utilizing Ripple’s technology for their cross-boarder payments.

GMT said via their latest blog update: “GMT is joining companies like MoneyGram, AmericanExpress, CIBC, Earthport, AKBANK and many more, who are already authorized to use Ripple’s platform. This partnership is establishing GMT’s place in the forefront of the Israeli Fintech industry, also allowing us to work side by side with some of the leading companies in the world.”

GMT are the largest and leading financial services organization in Israel. They have an outreach of  250 branches spanning across the country. GMT specialize in local and international remittance services, among many other financial offerings.

In terms of which technology of Ripple’s they will exactly be leveraging, it does not appear to have been stated for now. Whether GMT will be using either xCurrent or xRapid is still subject to debate. Hacked will be sure to provide further details upon those being announced.

Technical Review – XRP/USD

XRP/USD 4-hour chart

Price behavior seems to be quite readable of late. XRP/USD is going through periods of hard selling, which is then followed by some range-bound trading. Once again, bears breakout from this consolidation mode to ignite more downside pressure. Between the 7th and 14th December, XRP/USD had formed a range-block. The sellers came piling in on the 14th December, and as a result the recent range was broken with $0.3000 giving way.

XRP/USD weekly chart

XRP/USD is now moving within a critical area. This is seen running from $0.3000 to $0.2500.  A very well-known area for big buyers coming in, as proven on occasions this year. Any failure of this initial range holding could see a free-fall down to $0.2000.

XRP/BTC daily chart

Finally, looking the daily chart of XRP/BTC, it remains somewhat encouraging. XRP is holding its ground again BTC, in comparison to many of its peers. The price is ranging for now, looking possible to see a chunky breakout to the upside. It remains trading around levels seen during the explosive run in December 2017.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 86 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Analysis

Stellar Price Analysis: XLM/USD Bears Break Big $0.10 Level

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  • Fear and panic spreads as XLM takes out another big psychological level, $0.10.
  • Support of XLM continues to take place, as AlphaPoint and CoinField announce support.

Stellar’s native token XLM has been a real victim of this heavy market selling pressure. The downward trend is very much stubborn and showing lack of a shift in sentiment anytime soon. Market hopes have been dashed on numerous occasions, when the price has looked like bottoming. Each small bounce and sign of possible recovery from the bulls continues to be sold with force by the bears.

Like several of XLM’s peers, fundamental developments remain strong. There is still much in terms of positive developments surrounding the Stellar foundation. However, with the pressing lower and breaking of these key psychological levels, it only sparks more panic and fear with market participants.

XLM Support Spreads

XLM continues to be added by exchanges globally. There is certainly no shortage with the supporting developments for Stellar Lumens. This week, AlphaPoint, a white label cryptocurrency exchange platform, announced their collaboration with the Stellar foundation. They will now be supporting Lumens for their clients, covering; deposits, withdrawals, custody, and trading.

Elsewhere, CoinField, a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, detailed via Twitter that they are launching Stellar Lumens on their platform, as an XRP based pair. They noted that the XLM/XRP pair will be available with other fiat pairings, including; USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, JPY, and AED.

Technical Review – XLM/USD

XLM/USD 4-hour chart

The bears most recently pressed for a devastating technical development as the $0.10 mark was broken to the downside, which was previously anticipated via the last article posted on Hacked. Sideways trading had initially been observed, for seven sessions, as XLM/USD formed a range-block. This technically was vulnerable to an extensive breakout south.

A bottom area was eyed at the low of 7th December at $0.1010. This was breached after sellers were penetrating the supporting area during the session of 14th December. As a result, this forced the low of the 7th December to be exposed. In addition, it caused a drop below the psychological $0.10 level.

XLM/BTC Vital Demand Zone

XLM/BTC daily chart

XLM/BTC at the time of writing is trading within a vital demand zone. This can be seen tracking from 0.00003000 to 0.00002800. Previously, the area has proven to see chunky buyers come into play in driven the price back north. As already seen this year, on two occasions, in July and also September, both going on to see around 45% bull rallies.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 86 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Analysis

Forex Update: Dismal Chinese Data Causes Turmoil in Markets

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Forex Market Snapshot

Asset Current Value Daily Change
EUR/USD 1.1302 -0.47%
GBP/USD 1.2571 -0.68%
USD/JPY 113.35 -0.21%
AUD/USD 0.7179 -0.66%
GOLD 1,243 -0.20%
WTI Crude Oil 51.16 -3.18%
BTC/USD 3,180 -2.54%

We continue to have an unusually active December in traditional financial markets, as the recent bearish shift, the continued Brexit woes and the slowing global economy add up to a very nervous trading environment. Volatility is especially high in stock markets compared to seasonal averages but currencies are also having very active days, with the Dollar clearly being in focus.

Today we had negative headlines in China with both industrial production and retail sales missing the consensus estimates by a mile, and the history of manufactured economic releases from the country makes that even scarier.

It’s no surprise that the Chinese stock market is leading the way lower globally, while the Chinese Yuan is also among the weakest currencies globally, even amid the improving trade-related sentiment. Risk-on currencies got it hard today, and the Dollar is defying its bearish seasonality, trading very close to its recent lows, confirming the broad risk-off shift.

Technical Analysis

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Great British Pound continues to trade with pronounced relative weakness, and as Prime Minister Theresa May was sent home empty-handed from Brussels, with the leaders of the EU refusing to renegotiate the draft Brexit plan, the currency’s position just got even shakier.

From a technical standpoint, the Cable confirmed the key breakdown with a failed pullback in the past couple of days, and with no major support found above the generational lows near 1.20, long-term odds now favor a test of that zone, and bulls shouldn’t enter positions below the key 1.27 level.

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The EUR/USD pair dipped below the 1.13 level after yesterday’s the dovish growth and inflation forecast by the European Central Bank and today’s strong US Retail Sales report. The US economy continues to perform relatively well compared to its global peers, and although we think that the slowdown will eventually reach the US, the fiscal stimulus and the labor momentum could keep the engines going for a while.

That only adds to the buying pressure which is pushing the USD higher, and the troubles in the European financial system are also mounting, which could lead to another leg lower in the common currency next year. The main technical levels to watch are still the 1.12 support and the 1.1440 resistance, and with the broader downtrend clearly being intact in the most traded currency pair.

AUD/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The AUD/USD pair fell below the bearish wedge pattern on the negative Chinese news as we expected, and it’s now testing the 0.7165 support zone. A move towards the 0.70 level is likely in the coming weeks, should the pair violate the support zone, and the short-term trend change is close to being confirmed, while the broader downtrend is clearly intact, with strong resistance ahead near 0.7250 and 0.74.

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Another rally attempt faded away today in crude oil, and the crucial commodity continues to trade in a bearish consolidation range following the series of dead-cat-bounces. The top of the range is found near the $54.25 per barrel price level, while strong support is found in the $49.50-$50 per barrel range.

Given the deeply oversold long-term momentum readings, bulls can open speculative long positions near the bottom of the range, despite the clearly intact long-term downtrend, while bears should wait for a larger scale bounce to reenter the market.

Key Economic Events on Monday

ChartBook

Forex

USD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EUR/GBP, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EUR/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

AUD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

GBP/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

USD/CHF, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

USD/CNH, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Major Stock Indices

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

DAX 30 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nikkei 225 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Shanghai Composite Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Featured image from Shutterstock

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 417 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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