How agricultural carbon credits and trees become NFTs

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WEB developers are jumping into the world of carbon credits, taking one intangible asset and turning it into another.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) were developed by the same blockchain technology used to create cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Basically, the blockchain is a series of unique digital “blocks” that are linked together. They can be fungible like Bitcoin, where essentially every token is the same, or non-fungible, meaning each token is unique and cannot be replaced with something else.

At least two NFTs were featured at the National Carbon Farming Conference in Albury this week, one known as Urth Coins and the other was Meta Trees.

The Urth Coin was created as a way to trade 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 outside the industry. The farmer uploads photos of his project to the Urth app and the company has a system to assign them a biodiversity score.

“I’ve already sold 100 pieces of Urth to people and they were very excited to be able to have something that allowed them to pick the farmer and filter out our things that they didn’t 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 carbon value that has been measured.”

Ms Jewell said there was strong demand for carbon credits around the world and the company hoped to realize the value of Australian carbon.

“I have been in the blockchain industry for a long time and have watched the crypto market in those days. While everyone is talking about the associated issues, they also need to realize that the market has the potential to determine what going to happen,” she said.

“We’re hoping the carbon price will go up to around $100-150/tonne (it’s currently $35/tonne) because that’s where we think it will get more attractive for farmers.”

Metatrees used to raise capital

The other NFT featured at the conference was from web developer Ray Mildoni, also known as “Regen Ray”, who created a product called 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,” Mildoni said.

“We will then use regenerative agriculture to regenerate and restore this farm to the oasis it once was.”

Regen Ray made a virtual presentation at the National Carbon Farming Conference.

Mr. Mildoni’s project is also based on a Metaverse, which is a simulated digital environment mimicking the real world. In this case, he used real estate and digitally put the Metatrees, which are NFTs, on the landscape when buying them.

He said the trees are currently being sold and placed digitally on other farms to raise the funds needed to meet the company’s goal.

“Instead of raising capital from investors, we 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 tree species.

“When you buy one, you buy one, you don’t necessarily own part of the farm, but you have proof of support.”


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