Since we all started to live and breathe technology, nature has been adversely affected by it. Good thing is on the other side of the road someone still works for the earth. You may have noticed that lately we have been seeing more and more news about startups with sustainability-focused innovative ideas. It hasn’t even been 24 hours since we published two new impact fund news. Hopefully soon we are able to undo the harm we have been causing so far.
Speaking of news, Single.Earth announces a brand new currency called MERIT which is the first one ever minted from nature. With MERIT tokens, Single.Earth will be hoping to encourage landowners for maintaining and increasing their land’s ecological value and carbon capture. The Estonian startup’s ultimate goal is to reach a level where nature-backed currencies are mainly preferred by landowners and nature manages to grow with economy.
Single.Earth issues the first currency backed by nature
— Opens the fast-growing platform to all landowners
The first money minted from nature has been issued to forest owners as Single.Earth rolls out a new tool to finance nature protection.
It’s the first phase of introducing a new global currency MERIT, which EQT-backed Estonian fintech Single.Earth issues to landowners for the ecosystem services nature provides, making it the first currency backed by nature.
“Some 2,600 years after the first coins were minted we are today minting a currency based on the work of nature. It’s a huge leap for the world of money,” said Merit Valdsalu, CEO and co-founder of Single.Earth.
Single.Earth is integrating nature protection into the economy so that nature and economy can grow together.
“The current system in most countries leaves nature in the role of a beggar on the street, looking for pennies from passers-by — but nature is a decisive part of our existence. The only way forward is to bring nature’s ecosystem services into the economy on an equal footing with all other services,” Valdsalu said. “We are working towards a solution whereby interested persons will be able to buy MERITs directly from landowners to reward those who keep their forests and other natural resources intact.”
With MERIT, we can create a fully sustainable economy that balances consumption with nature’s capabilities, limiting us with planetary boundaries.
The first forest owners who have pre-registered on the Single.Earth platform, and passed the necessary onboarding procedures (including KYC and AML checks), will receive the first MERITs to their wallets. In the first phase, forest owners whose forests have been intact for the past 20 years start receiving MERITs for every 100 kg of CO2 sequestered in their forests. To move to a more holistic nature valuation approach, indicators of biodiversity and carbon stocks will be incorporated to the next iteration of the token.
“We have tested the platform for a few months to make sure we can manage the high volume of pre-registrations and we have already 1 million hectares of land on the platform, making it the fastest-growing portfolio in our nascent sector,” Valdsalu said.
To enable a nature-based financial system, Single.Earth’s 20+ strong science team built a Digital Twin of planet Earth to describe how nature works in nearly real-time. The first version of the Digital Twin covers the world’s forests and their CO2 sequestration.
“We’re already working on adding other land types, such as wetlands and grasslands, and other ecosystem services, like biodiversity, to the platform. Our goal is to use the entire planet’s natural resources to create a new financial system based on nature,” Valdsalu said.
Single.Earth was founded by Merit Valdsalu and Andrus Aaslaid in late 2019 with a mission to protect nature, starting from making saving forests as profitable to landowners as cutting them down is. The company’s investors include EQT Ventures, Icebreaker.VC, and Ragnar Sass and Martin Henk, founders of Pipedrive.