Crowd-lending solar energy project startup The Sun Exchange will be using Bitcoin for solar energy investment. This is a first for the Bitcoin industry.
Achieved last week, the startup is able to use Bitcoin as a transactional mechanism for investing in a solar energy. The Sun Exchange is now hosting a campaign to solar power a school in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
“What makes our platform unique is that investors can finance solar energy using Bitcoin and the electricity generated by the solar installation can be repaid to the investor using Bitcoin wherever they are in the world,” says founder of The Sun Exchange, Abe Cambridge.
The project has so far received investments from individuals in the likes of Canada, Australia, UK, and Switzerland. Those who do invest are receiving a 10% internal rate of return.
He goes on to say: “The digital currency has removed the friction and costs normally associated with international remittance. The efficiencies of Bitcoin means that we can make micro-payments in near real time as the electricity generated by the solar panel installation. This means that as long as the sun is shining, the investor can see their money working.”
The startup is currently attending the Sw7 Accelerate programme in Cape Town.
“The school has access to sustainable energy and is less reliant on the grid and the investor has a good investment that they can keep track of with a low administrative burden. It’s a win win,” says Sw7 co-founder Odette Jones.
Founder of blockchain solution company Bankymoon, and Bitcoin consultant Lorien Gamaroff said the idea is an exciting application for Bitcoin.
“We achieved a world first last month when we set up a project with MIT to use a Bitcoin electricity meter to pay for electricity at a school. MIT made the payment and the lights went on at the school. What The Sun Exchange has done is show yet another efficiency Bitcoin brings to transform markets, in this case clean energy investing.”
Jones says Bitcoin is emerging in Africa where a large percentage of the population is underserved with financial inclusion. “A technology like Bitcoin allows innovators to make near instant micropayments without the normal fees associated with this kind of transaction,” adds Jones.