Powerledger's co-founder and technical director John Bulich answers questions received from the community members.
What is the EcoChain™?
Developed in September of 2016 the EcoChain™ blockchain is our private Proof-of-Stake (PoS), low-power blockchain, developed in-house and live tested in the energy markets during our trials in 2016 and 2017. It has been stress-tested in high-load environments and provided us with valuable insights into blockchain functionality and compatibility, with energy data collection and settlement. Our blockchain was developed specifically for use in the power industry. Its first deployment was in Western Australia and then internationally in New Zealand, as well as being used in a number of our global projects after. In 2017 we commenced the transition to a modified feeless Proof-of-Authority (PoA) Consortium Ethereum network.
What blockchain is Powerledger currently using?
Currently Powerledger is running the POA Ethereum consortium chain while also testing our Solana based Powerledger Energy Chain.
What blockchain will Powerledger transition to?
Powerledger will transition over to its own customised permissioned Solana Blockchain. This new Powerledger blockchain is many times faster than Ethereum. This is crucial as smart meter readings move inevitably towards shorter, higher resolution and more granular data intervals, we need a blockchain technology that can support the increased number of readings and transactions throughput.
Why is Powerledger transitioning to Solana?
Solana has one very important attribute: short block times with fast throughput of 50,000+ transactions per second. It can easily support the scale-up of our existing suite of services: P2P, flexibility services, energy traceability, and certificate trading applications. Solana’s design is also less energy intensive than the existing proof-of-work blockchains, as it utilises Proof-of-History and Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanisms. Solana’s PoS design means that we will be inviting those that are interested in supporting the Powerledger Blockchain to participate in validation and staking, only with a twist. Staking will occur on our Powerledger Energy Blockchain, but will be linked to our existing POWR (ERC-20) token which will remain on Ethereum mainnet, with both the stake and the rewards, convertible and payable in existing POWR tokens.
Will the EcoChain™ still exist?
No, once we migrate over to our Solana based blockchain it will be called the Powerledger Energy Blockchain, replacing the EcoChain™.
What about my POWR tokens, will they need to migrate?
No. Your POWR tokens still remain on Ethereum as an ERC-20 token.
Why is POWR still an ERC-20 token on Ethereum?
Leaving the primary token POWR on the Ethereum blockchain provides flexibility and functionality that would not be possible if it was also the native token on the Solana based blockchain, which has a different purpose.
What is staking and delegated staking?
Staking is the process where a token holder locks their tokens in a particular wallet that gives them access to participate in a Proof-of-Stake network. Delegated staking is the process of staking your POWR tokens with a validator.
Who is a Validator?
Validators are entities responsible for forging blocks and approving transactions on the network. This involves operating hardware and running the blockchain code. In return for this, validators are rewarded with staking rewards.
Validators will earn rewards for their performance and will incur penalties for their non-performance. Therefore, we anticipate that professional validators and our existing energy industry partners will be the most interested. These node operators (validators) have already been asked to apply and are in the final stages of approval.
How do I become a Validator?
The number of validators on the Powerledger Energy Blockchain are limited. Applications have already been received and the application form has been closed. Powerledger is in the final stages of reviewing all applicants and those successful will be contacted. Acceptance of validators is at Powerledger’s absolute discretion.
As you know, running the nodes and validating transactions to secure the chain will require some technical knowledge and hardware requirements. If you are not able to become a Validator, but you are a POWR token holder, you can still become a Staker. If you just want to stake your POWR tokens, you don’t need to submit an application.
Who can be a staker and when can I start staking POWR?
To become a staker, no application to Powerledger will be required. The opportunity to stake may be made available to POWR token holders by the validators. Powerledger will make an announcement on our official Powerledger Twitter and Telegram accounts once delegated staking is possible for POWR token owners.
What are the hardware requirements to be a Validator?
The recommended hardware requirements are:
- 8 cores / 16 threads, or more
- 2.8GHz, or faster
- AVX2 instruction support
- PCIe Gen3 x4 NVME SSD, or better
- Accounts: 500GB, or larger. High TBW (Total Bytes Written)
- Ledger: 1TB or larger. High TBW suggested
- OS: (Optional) 500GB, or larger. SATA OK
- The OS may be installed on the ledger disk, though testing has shown better performance with the ledger on its own disk
- Accounts and ledger can be stored on the same disk, however due to high IOPS, this is not recommended
What are the rewards for validating and staking?
Rewards will be fixed per epoch, which is a period of time on the Powerledger Energy Blockchain, which typically runs between two to three days. Powerledger will pay a fixed amount of rewards of 37,000 POWR per epoch in total. The total pool of tokens available for rewards is approximately 5,000,000 POWR per year. These rewards are currently intended to be available for the first four years.