WEB developers are jumping into the world of carbon credits, taking one intangible asset and turning it into another.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have been developed by the same blockchain technology used to create cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Basically, the blockchain is a series of unique digital “blocks” which link together. They can be fungible like Bitcoin, where essentially every token is the same, or non-fungible, which means every token is unique and can’t be replaced by something else.
At least two NFTs were presented to the National Carbon Farming conference in Albury this week, one known as Urth Coins and the other was Meta Trees.
The Urth Coin was set up as a means of trading carbon credits, giving different projects a biodiversity rating, alongside the credits, and allowing them to sell directly to the buyer.
CEO Samantha Jewell said the idea was to create a dialogue between farmers and buyers from outside the industry. The farmer uploads photos of their project to the Urth app and the company has a system to give them an biodiversity rating.
“I’ve already sold 100 Urth coins to people and they were very excited to be able to have something that empowered them to choose the farmer and to filter our things they did not want,” Ms Jewell said.
“The money is exchanged directly between the consumer and the farmer and the biodiversity rating gives them a chance to multiply the value of the carbon that has been measured.”
Ms Jewell said there was plenty of demand for carbon credits globally and the company was hoping to realise the value of Australian carbon.
“I have been in the blockchain industry for a long time and I have been watching the crypto market in that time. While everyone goes on about the problems associated, they also have to realise there is potential for the market to determine what is going to happen,” she said.
“We’re hoping the price of carbon goes up to about $100-$150/tonne (currently is $35/tonne), because that’s where we think it will become more interesting for farmers.”
Metatrees used to raise capital
The other NFT presented to the conference was from web developer Ray Mildoni, who also goes by the name “Regen Ray”, who has created a product called the Metatree.
“Our mission is to buy a degraded farm and use it as a showcase farm and sell digital trees that are represented one-for-one on the property,” Mr Mildoni said.
“We’ll then use regenerative agriculture to regenerate and heal this farm back to an oasis that it once used to be.”
Mr Mildoni’s project is also based on a Metaverse, which is a simulated digital environment mimicking the real world. In this case, he has used a real property and digitally put the Metatrees, which are NFTs, on the landscape when they are purchased.
He said the trees were currently being sold and digitally placed on other farms to raise the funds to reach the company’s goal.
“Instead of raising capital with investors we have decided to use NFTs, so we have 25,000 trees and each tree is individually numbered and you can buy it online,” he said.
“That tree is then planted with the GPS location, its function on the farm and the species of tree.
“When you buy one of them you buy one of them, you don’t necessarily own any part of the farm but you do have proof of support.”
You can purchase digital Nike boots online that don’t exist in the real world
so why not trees.
The jury is still out.