Realigning The Economics Of Agriculture; Everything You’d Want To Know.
Today, I’d like to introduce the Regen Network to you. This innovative network has recently caught my interest, and I thought I’d share my findings with you. Let’s start with the technicals. The Regen Network is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain focused on ecological data, assets, and agreements using the Tendermint Consensus Engine and built on Cosmos SDK. But this doesn’t say a lot about the heart behind this network’s projects and goals. So, let’s have a look.
🌿 Part 1 — What is the Regen Network?
The founders of the Regen Network were troubled with the current ecological crisis that is facing humanity. They stated that the crisis is a result of us failing to account for the aggregate impact of our decisions that mainly focussed on efficiency, profit, and comfort but deliver severe long-term damage to the Earth 🌍.
Their research on agriculture found that a good focus of efforts for improvement should be on soil. More specifically, on adding carbon to the soil. After all, the ground we walk on is the foundation of the health of our global economy and the Earth. Additionally, research shows that while the agribusiness is worth around $5 trillion in business globally, they produce 12 gigatons of CO2 each year. However, it holds the potential to become a massive carbon sink, being able to sequester billions of tons of CO2 per year into the soil and above-ground. And while consumer trends have been moving towards eco and sustainability, critics are saying that that is not enough for significant change. Therefore, Regen’s founders suggest that we must create the ability to explicitly track the ecological impacts of our actions linear to our financials.
The Regen Foundation is, therefore, focussing its effort on scientific research and infrastructure development that creates a transparent, open Ecological State Protocol. The Regen Consortium and Community Staking Pools along with all other stakers, act as the representative body that administers the ledger and the cultural shift towards true-cost accounting (the Regen Consortium and Community Staking Pool is one-third of the token supply.). They are aiming to create a culture of collaboration towards building an infrastructure that is needed to bring earth’s needs into our collective awareness and take action.
💾 The Regen Ledger
The Regen Ledger serves a directory of ecological data sources. While some data might be more valuable on-chain, the data will be largely sold off-chain to obtain the knowledge as to who submitted the data. The hash of the data will point to where this data is stored. The blockchain technology, in the case of the Regen’s Network, makes automated auditing possible, after which the appropriate data can be completely transparent.
When asked about the matter of data storage for ecological purposes, Gregory Landua, Chief Regeneration Officer at Regen Network told us the following:
“The approach to verification of ecological state, and quantification of that state is what I would call intersubjective verification. In landscape ecology and Earth observation science, we correlate multiple sources of data (information) and bind them together into a “data cube”. The blockchain makes it possible for different data sources to be woven together to correlate, confirm or deny claims about the ecological state as a basic function of a marketplace for the value generated by our ecosystems. The value generated by ecosystems is usually considered a public good. A public good is something the market “fails to account for and therefore is most often considered an externality. That is to say that business profits by degrading public goods. In order to reverse this trend, the provisioning of public goods has to be valued. In order to value something you have to be able to: 1 verify it for the multiple stakeholders who benefit, and 2. quantify the value being generated. Both steps are impossible without a public ledger. While this might be a bold statement, the Regen team believes it to be true. Because, without something that allows different private sources of truth to be brought together for a claim about ecological state and the quantified goods produced by it (carbon sequestration for instance), we cannot efficiently achieve consensus about the value of this public good. Hence, we cannot economically value it, and therefore we continue to degrade it as a matter of course”.
Regen’s Network focuses on three different types of offerings. The first, which they’ve already started with an has been very successful so far, is the collaboration with farmers worldwide. The application that Regen is developing enables farmers and funders to create agreements about farming practices and ecological change. Through this offering, the Regen Network is trying to create a standard and, for farmers, profitable ways to make changes to the way they use the landscape.
In the long term, these changes in the way farmers utilize their grounds, will not only produce healthy air and soil, but they will be able to “sell” their ecological services. They are making it an extra income for a profession that’s only just holding its head above the water for years. Gregory Landua mentioned that an initial pilot of the Regen Network showed that by contributing to this project farmers can increase their income with 20%. Moreover, because the Regen Network is integrated and decentralized land stewards can receive around 80 to 85 percent of profits generated, unlike in traditional businesses where middlemen take 80 percent leaving only 20 for the land steward or project.
The second application that will be built on the network is based on transparency. The Regen Network and its team of scientists allow anyone in the world to access open, scientifically valid information about the state of the planet. There’s no longer the need to rely heavily on local authorities. With this transparent information, the network aims to activate the chain of significant environmental change. A third application focuses on the community. The Regen Network is building an open community that holds resources and tools such as high-quality data about ecological subjects.
♻️ Ecological Regeneration Projects
The regeneration of the world’s ecosystem is an essential aspect of Regen Networks’ goals towards a cleaner environment. To obtain this goal, the Regen Network doesn’t just work together with farmers for better soil. They also work on three other projects; that is solely focussed on regeneration. The first is the Forest Protection Project. With this project, the aim is to protect the world’s forest, because it would help solve about ⅓ of the climate crisis. While much money gets allocated to the Amazon and other forests around the world, a big part of the money never reaches the forests. The Regen Network states:
These communities, however, often lack resources to pay consultants and the expensive systems needed. That’s why the Regen Network is aiming to get funding directly to the front line of the rainforest community based on verified monitoring evidence that they are genuinely protecting their forests. Check the video below to see how it works.
Other projects that they are currently developing are the tracking of regeneration and the compensating great farming project. The latter is aimed at helping Ecuadorian Cacao farmers shift to environmentally friendly farming practices. For more detail about all the projects the Regen Network, is or will be working on, check here.
💰 Part 2 — Token and Development
As mentioned above, the Regen Network’s ecological ledger and the contracting platform are built on the Cosmos SDK. However, despite all the possibilities that this ecosystem provides, Regen believes that eventually, governance and incentive issues created by the development of other DApps upon the system will result in issues. Therefore, they are building the Regen Ledger, the first blockchain dedicated to ecological claims. This ledger is a Tendermint-core-based PoS blockchain with bonded validators, which will provide network security and durability.
🌳 TREE Token
The Regen Network’s native digital asset is TREE. At this moment, the Regen Ledger is not live yet, which means TREE tokens are only available through the network’s Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT).
TREE is heavily influenced by the design of the Cosmos ATOM but adapted for the use of ecological data and outcome markets. The Regen Network will be governed as a public blockchain by token holders according to the same models outlined and implemented by Cosmos.
- The initial TREE token supply will be 100,000,000 TREE. However, the supply might change, as the Regen Network will be burning unsold tokens. After that, a small percent (max 1%, varied up to 25 basis points each quarter, a basis point is 0.001%) will be increased and distributed to community projects.
In Q1 of 2019, the first Testnet of the Regen Network was launched. In Q3 and Q4 of the same year, Regen successfully ran Testnet 1001. After which Regen hosted its first community-driven testnet: Congo-1, followed by its second public incentivized testnet: Algradigon-1.
- Algradigon-1 Testnet was created to onboard new validators who wanted to join, implement, and ensure the undertaking of upgrades. For a deep-dive into this Testnet, check here. Algradigon-1 was launched on 23rd Jan at 17:00 UTC, with 38 validators signing on the genesis block.
- COSMWASM Kontraŭa Testnet was launched in Q1 of 2020. It is an Adversarial Testnet that focuses on network load-testing with the Regen Ledger running on CosmWASM.
- Aplikiĝo Testnet, the fourth Testnet, launched in February 2021. The focus of this Testnet will be on application-specific testing and simulation of the ecosystem service credit creation and trading. It aims at preparing for Stargate and IBC transactions with other Cosmos chains. If everything goes right, this will be the last Testnet.
For more information on Regen Network’s testnet, you can visit https://github.com/regen-network/testnets
More Information & Sources
- Regen Network Website
- Regen Network GitHub
- Regen Network Medium
- Regen Network Whitepaper
- Regen Network Economics Technical Paper
DISCLAIMER: This is not financial advice. Staking, delegation, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk, and there is always the possibility of loss, including the loss of all staked digital assets. Additionally, delegators are at risk of slashing in case of security or liveness faults on some protocols. We advise you to do your due diligence before choosing a validator.