🌍 Web3 for Climate #17 — what decentralization enables for society
Your 5-minute deep-dive into regenerative web3 startups
Good morning, #ReFi-curious investors!
Starting off, it’s my (Alex’s) pleasure to introduce you to Juan Assad, a new contributor to your news section. He is an Argentinean computer science student researching venture capital and web3 startups.
Now let’s dive into the curated readings. This week, we discuss how decentralization could enable more effective markets over the coming years, as
Local producers become able to compete with big business’s efficiency
Community coordination (through DAOs) and emerging city/community currencies allow for Jane Jacobs’ unorthodox-economic dreams
Decentralized “companies” continue to serve their users even after saturating growth
All of these decentralized projects will enable markets that resemble natural (#regenerative) patterns more.
Let’s invest in a flourishing, regenerative future together:
Global Ecosystem News 🌊
🌊 Cerulean Ventures launched a fund to invest in web3 companies that are building the “tools necessary to scale climate impact in this decade.”
💰 Gitcoin Grants Round 14 closed with $4.9M of funding for public goods. The community’s top four funded projects were climate-related.
⚡ KYVE Network, an infrastructure approach which enables blockchain startups to store records of climate data, raised $9M at a $100M valuation from investors Cerulean Ventures, Distributed Global, IOSG Ventures, Volt Capital, Solana, Avalanche, and NEAR Protocol.
📈 A Japanese chemicals corporation announced a pilot of SAP’s GreenToken to improve the transparency in its “recycled plastic” supply chain.
🚀The ReFi DAO is launching an accelerator to help entrepreneurs tackle MRV solutions (measuring, reporting, and verification) for nature-focused credits.
🌱 Earthbanc, a startup leveraging Regen Network to offer carbon credits, signed a partnership with the United Nations to finance “land restoration and carbon removal at scale.”
🛫 Two major Brazilian airlines announced that corporates can offset flights by purchasing tokenized carbon offsets from Moss on the Ethereum blockchain.
⚡ White Rock Management, a Switzerland-based bitcoin mining company, announced that it is expanding operations to Texas using power from natural gas.
Newly Launched Projects 🚀
🌿 Sustainable Impact Token is launching Algaecoin, a token representing shares of algae biomass farms.
🍼 Plastiks.io, a marketplace for NFTs that fund plastic-collection projects, launched after winning the Celo Camp Gold Prize (10,000 cUSD and 2,000 CELO worth ~$11,500 USD).
🍷 Cuvée Collective, a wine NFT club, is selling a “utility” NFT that grants holders access to experiences in Napa Valley.
(Juan’s note: while the news is not climate, the article describes that the NFT’s energy consumption is negligible. By using the Flow blockchain, minting each NFT uses less energy than a Google search.)
🚀 1World Fund announced the launch of its “The1” token, which plants a tree for every token purchase.
(Writer’s note: in particular, this token release looks scam-like. We welcome any responses from their team about the substance of their climate claims — and we will provide you an update if we hear differently.)
Weekend Reading 📚
What does a 1960s urban-planning activist have to do with blockchain? A surprising amount. Especially with #ReFi.
In an era of centralized city planning, Jane Jacobs became famous for pointing out its idiocy. She argued that “attempting to create utopias” wastes resources and instead creates communities that lack soul. Rather, she felt local, decentralized control improved resource allocation.
Trends in web3 startups may enable many of Jacobs’s economic dreams. Improving voting and resource management could allow better-managed local communities, while crypto startups may enable a shift to community and city-scale currencies. This specific article discusses Jane Jacobs’s theory for why “national currencies” reduce economic efficiency.
“Over the last 80 years, the big have been eating the small, but the tide is now turning.”
Economies of scale enabled mass improvements in livelihoods. Big business concentrated capital and talent to far improve the efficiency of food production and manufacturing, and that amazing efficiency enabled our modern-day quality of life.
However, centralized efficiency also comes with some trade-offs. Quantity often usurps quality, and local producers struggle to compete. This article beautifully articulates how blockchain-enabled markets could offer small-scale producers a similar efficiency. The piece is a well-written description of the general trend, and the author is currently building a similar startup.
Some people believe crypto advocates favor decentralization to reduce government censorship. A16Z’s Chris Dixon argues in this article that decentralization is actually best at improving long-term innovation. Why? At scale, centralized tech giants gradually stop serving customers; they must grow through extraction and stifling zero-sum competition. In contrast, Dixon shows how decentralized platforms more efficiently focus on their stakeholders and allow competition long-term.
A graph Chris Dixon created to show how tech companies move to extraction and competition as they saturate the market.
If you’re looking to build a startup in ReFi, subscribe to the ReFi Roundup.
If you’d like a regular analysis of on-chain carbon markets, Toucan Protocol runs the amazing deCarbonized newsletter.
In the next edition, we plan to discuss #ReFi’s potential to enable localized currencies. 📩 Reply if you have any startup or article suggestions!
P.S. If you want to contribute research into web3-climate investing, feel free to contribute to this open-source insights repository.
This newsletter is for educational purposes only. While we strive for accurate and unbiased information, none of it is verified or intended to help as investment advice.