With blockchain technology, all the data is on-chain, traceable, and transparent, and we believe this could play a significant role in solving for climate action and agriculture
Many countries have pledged to go carbon neutral in the race to combat the climate crisis. But that’s easier said than done. One of the major concerns, while maintaining the necessary agricultural and industrial output, is to implement green initiatives, as per YourStory.
As per YourStory, where corporations eliminate their CO2 emissions by investing in carbon offset projects or attempt to remove carbon dioxide by planting trees and preserving forest creating offsets or credits, numerous companies—Citi and IBM, among others—believe carbon offsetting and trading could provide a solution.
Allowing the right to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions, these savings—or credits—can then be purchased by another individual or company. Each credit equals one tonne of carbon.
Making it challenging for farmers, rural communities, and other people from lower socioeconomic levels to engage in this trade, the existing carbon market is perceived to be opaque, unorganised, and exclusive to big corporations.
Dealers could also make dubious claims of carbon offsetting without implementation as the market for carbon credits is so poorly regulated. But the global market for carbon offsets, which is projected to be worth $35 billion by 2030, display no sign of slowing down.
Looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions through NFTs, numerous blockchain start-ups have entered the space. Recently, Polygon partnered with Klima DAO, which offers tokenised carbon credits. Other popular start-ups FlowCarbon, Moss, and Offsetra also created a buzz around the same.
Closer home, Web3 enthusiasts and investment bankers Prabir Mishra, Suraj Teja, and Puru Modani wanted to solve the lack of transparency in the carbon trading market while democratising access.
To make the market more accessible to all, the trio launched TrayamBhu Tech Solutions (TRST01) in 2019, a blockchain platform digitising carbon credits.
As per YourStory, Prabir said, “With blockchain technology, all the data is on-chain, traceable, and transparent, and we believe this could play a significant role in solving for climate action and agriculture.”
However, the start-up began by setting out to address food traceability using blockchain. “We tried to solve the issue by tracing the location of product and the date and time of the process through geo-fencing and geo-location. The certificates issued for these products are uploaded on the blockchain with embedded QR codes and anyone could trace the products. Next, we decided to focus on climate and agriculture projects,” he adds.
Climate action through NFT tokens
As per YourStory, the blockchain start-up TRST01’s three tenets are trust, transparency, and traceability. Bhu, a carbon offset NFT token, and Arka, a solar offset NFT token were launched by TRST01 in April. The blockchain start-up has also tied up with RubiX, a green blockchain protocol, as its technology partner for the same.
“In an effort to raise public awareness of the climate crisis, we are enabling the common man to buy and offset and contribute to climate action,” says Prabir.
Including OpenSea and Rarible, the NFT tokens are currently available on several marketplaces and will be available on JupiterMeta in future.
“We do not interact directly with farmers or communities. Instead, we connect with project developers and aggregators, who work across a wide range of projects involving solar energy, hydropower, the reduction of methane gas, and others. After the projects are completed, carbon credits are produced, and farmers, rural women, residents, or small communities that the developer worked with receive the benefits,” he claims.
A solar project in Himachal Pradesh is one of the initiatives the blockchain start-up has worked upon. To replace conventional fossil fuel-based plants in the area, generating 1.5MW of clean and renewable energy, the blockchain start-up tied up with the developer of three solar plants—Dhar, Bhandari Ram, and Sankhyan.
The carbon credits from the solar project were digitised into NFTs and sold at $10 per credit on NFT marketplaces. The income generated will be distributed among villagers and women the project developer worked with. The blockchain start-up has sold 500 NFTs to date.
The founder claims that the climate projects not only work to address global issues but also to improve the standard of living. “Most of our projects have generated monetary income for farmers. For instance, our partner project developers track around 40,000 hectares of forest land and aim to reduce methane gas. Each hectare may generate 3-5 carbon credits. The total may go up to 100k-200k carbon credits. The farmers will get around INR 1,500- 2,000 per acre. Carbon credits generated from the reduction of methane gas are digitised as Bhu NFT tokens.”
At present, the blockchain start-up has a team of 35 members.
As per YourStory, while the start-up supplies the infrastructure and blockchain building tools, to allow buyers to build applications and digital services on a distributed network, the start-up follows Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) model. Its clients include corporations, governments, and other organisations building green projects.
In the last one year, it clocked total revenue of INR 50 lakhs.
“In the first project, we provided blockchain solution for PDS (public distribution system) traceability to Government of Orissa and we were paid INR 5 lakhs for it. It was implemented through CSM Technologies, Bhubaneswar,” says Prabir.
In future, the blockchain start-up aims to expand its operations in the US. “Currently, we are working on 8-10 projects and have over 15 clients on board,” says Prabir.
The blockchain start-up is also in talks to work on several governmental projects. The co-founder says, “We are discussing with Himachal Pradesh state government to collaborate for a climate project and also partnering with Haryana state government on food traceability through STPI (software technology parks of India).”
TRST01 also aims to collaborate with the likes of Coromandel Agrico Group and Green Irrigation, among others for its agricultural and seed traceability projects.
In February, the Hyderabad-based start-up raised INR 4.2 crore in a seed round led by US-based Octave Ventures, as per YourStory.
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