Australian blockchain project Power Ledger has come under scrutiny in two reports by the nation’s top finance publication, which questioned whether it’s “over-hyped”.
The pieces in the Australian Financial Review were published on December 26 and 27, 2018.
Power Ledger issues responses
Power Ledger has issued two seperate statements to Micky, alleging some of the Australian Financial Review reporting was inaccurate and misleading.
Here’s the company’s statement regarding the first AFR article in full:
“On December 26th 2018, the Australian Financial Review published an article in relation to Power Ledger titled ‘Blockchain start-up Power Ledger criticised for paying spruikers.’
The article contains a number of inaccuracies we believe require clarification. We are seeking to address this matter with the newspaper.
The article is focused on the bounty program Power Ledger ran throughout our Token Generation Event (TGE) in 2017. ‘Bounty’ refers to the common practice companies in the blockchain space employ to reward community members for sharing news with their social circles. While other programs range in their activities, ours was focused on the sharing of Power Ledger’s official social media posts.
Our program was similar to many other mainstream social media and community engagement campaigns. For example, Airbnb’s #OneLessStranger campaign incentivised participation by sending 100,000 members of the Airbnb community ten dollars each for sharing photos using the hashtag.
Our bounty program was run transparently and designed to avoid manipulation and protect consumers. We consider our bounty program a great success in creating a grassroots movement of authentic and engaged supporters who are aligned with our ethos of democratising power rather than rewarding ‘spruikers’ sharing misinformation.
As a company, Power Ledger has always been open and accountable. We’re a registered company and did so intentionally under Australian law to bring legitimacy to the broader cryptocurrency space. We’re extremely proud of how we’ve conducted ourselves and we believe our bounty program, and all promotional activities since, have followed the rules and regulations set out to protect consumers.
The article suggests Power Ledger continues to pay ‘spruikers’ who share rumours as part of our bounty program. This is incorrect. Our bounty program ended over a year ago and was audited to ensure no fake, duplicate or misleading accounts received rewards. We also actively took steps to correct any misinformation circulating in the market.
As of October 2018, Power Ledger commenced a community advocate program. This is entirely unrelated to the bounty program and uses a different model. The community advocate program was developed to help protect our supporters by incentivising them to report fake or spam accounts while also correcting any misinformation in the market by being active in forums. This program rewards one community member each month with $100 AUD worth of POWR and $100 AUD donated to a registered charity of their choice. Again, we have always been open and transparent about this program.
There are a number of other inaccuracies and misconceptions in the article that we have raised with the newspaper. In the meantime, Power Ledger will continue to ensure the interests of consumers are put first.”
Today Power Ledger also provided Micky a statement in relation to a second Australian Financial Review article. Here it is in full:
“On December 27th 2018 the Australian Financial Review published an article in relation to Power Ledger titled ‘How to make and lose $2b on the blockchain’.
The article contains a number of inaccuracies we believe require clarification. We are seeking to address this matter with the newspaper. There are a series of inaccurate and misleading quotes throughout the piece, including the assertion that Power Ledger “promised to apply blockchain’s anti-authority ethos to challenging
big electricity monopolies”.
Our business model is a direct contradiction of this point. We’ve always worked alongside existing players to facilitate a low-cost, low-carbon future and consider them our biggest allies.
Our projects alongside Thai government-backed renewables company BCPG, Japan’s largest privately owned electricity retailer KEPCO, American PowerNet and Silicon Valley Power are all evidence of this. These partnerships also discredit the insistence that our technology was rejected by “the one big electricity retailer who tested it”.
Simon Holmes-à-Court, who is quoted in the piece, has since tweeted to express his disappointment at the use of his comments given they were cursory and “not based on a full understanding of the business model”. He has requested to learn more about the work we’re doing.
The article quotes a ‘participant’ in our RENeW Nexus trial as saying “the trading system is not worth using”. This individual is not part of the trial and has since denied to us saying Power Ledger’s technology was not worth using. She was deemed not an ideal candidate for this particular trial. We’ve gone to great lengths alongside our project partners at Curtin University, Western Power and Synergy to ensure participants in the RENeW Nexus trial are benefiting from the platform.
We’ve had feedback that participants are finding the experience beneficial and have already started altering their consumption habits as a result of the information provided by our platform.
The article claims that we continue to reward ‘spruikers’. This is incorrect. Our bounty program ended over a year ago and was audited to ensure no fake, duplicate or misleading accounts received rewards. We also actively took steps to correct any misinformation circulating in the market.
The article suggests that Power Ledger has paid finder.com.au for coverage. Power Ledger has never paid Finder or its staff for coverage.
The article frequently switches between USD and AUD, meaning many of the points are exaggerated and factually incorrect. For example, it describes POWR as being ‘worth more than $2billion at its peak’ (in AUD) and the tokens trade at 0.065cents “about 20% below their issue price” which is a USD statement.
There are a number of other inaccuracies and misconceptions in the article that we have raised with the newspaper, including frequently confusing Australian and US dollar figures. In the meantime, Power Ledger will continue to ensure the interests of consumers are put first.”
Micky is not suggesting Power Ledger or anyone involved with the company has engaged in any wrongdoing.
Micky is not suggesting the Australia Financial Review or the Journalist who wrote the articles about Power Ledger has engaged in any wrongdoing.