PLENO’s Nura Linggih on Web3’s Potential to Reshape Carbon Credit Landscape

PLENO's Nura Linggih on Web3's Potential to Reshape Carbon Credit Landscape

The European Blockchain Convention interviewed the co-founder of PLENO, Nura Linggih, to discuss PLENO and the carbon credit market in the Web3 space.

Problems of the carbon credit market

The prevailing issues plaguing the current carbon credit market revolve around time, costs, and accuracy. The market lacks digitization, with a significant portion of the process still done manually. Moreover, the presence of numerous intermediaries in the ecosystem contributes to time-consuming procedures, with the typical duration for creating a carbon credit extending up to two years.

Within this landscape, different carbon registries, such as Verra, Gold Standard Foundation, Climate Action Reserve, American Carbon Registry (ACR), and others, employ their own distinct standards for calculating the estimated carbon removal. This variety of standards poses a challenge for project developers to follow up with the calculations and choose the most suitable registry.

For many project developers, particularly those operating with limited resources and expertise, navigating the complexities of carbon credit creation is challenging. Therefore, developers often seek consultants or external assistance, incurring substantial costs, with fees climbing as high as $100,000.

The heavy reliance on manual methodologies and inadequate real-time monitoring exacerbates issues related to emission calculations’ accuracy. These issues further lead to a lack of trust among buyers. There have also been several scandals and news on the carbon credit market, where the carbon credit buyers are actually purchasing “phantom credits.”

Different registries use different carbon standards. Image source: PLENO blog.

The start of PLENO and the backgrounds of the founder

“I always thought there would be an Ah-ha moment for a startup idea, but actually it’s not as sexy as that, I would say.”

Nura Linggih, Co-founder of PLENO

Drawing on his extensive academic and professional background in sustainability, Nura identified a significant issue within the carbon credit market. His journey into the realm of blockchain technology started a few years ago, and he started to learn about regenerative finance (ReFi), which perfectly merges his passion for blockchain technology with his sustainability expertise.

He started a blog named ‘Enjoy the weather’ to talk about Web3 and real-world use cases such as sustainability. He later joined ReFi DAO as a writer and discovered many interesting projects that inspired him.

Several months ago, Nura, along with Nino, his childhood friend since their time in Bali, Indonesia, decided to participate in the Blockchain Founders Group incubator program and successfully secured funding. As a result, Nura made the bold decision to leave his job as a sustainability solution manager at one of Germany’s most successful software companies and go all in with PLENO.

The founders of PLENO: Nura (left) and Nino (right).

What is PLENO doing?

PLENO introduces a digital platform tailored to carbon credit project developers, streamlining the entire process of measuring, reporting, and verifying (MRV) carbon projects. 

The PLENO platform leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and Geo-Information System (GIS) to collect all fragmented information such as satellite data to simplify the workflow. The team harnesses remote sensing and machine learning techniques to do a more robust analysis of carbon projects, enabling the identification of carbon stocks and sequestration activities. Read how PLENO uses AI for carbon credits here.

PLENO sets itself apart from other MRV players with its automatic calculator. This eliminates the need for manual work with complex formulas and spreadsheets, while also ensuring highly accurate carbon forecasting. 

Highlights of PLENO digital platform. Request early access here.

In the verification and certification process of carbon projects, PLENO plays a pivotal role in facilitating the certification of projects by accredited registry institutions. To enhance the validation and traceability of these certifications, PLENO assists in the recording of data onto a public blockchain. Carbon project developers can efficiently manage and share their data with verifiers and registries.

Looking ahead at the roadmap, PLENO has plans to incorporate a range of features, including real-time data validation, automated report generation, and secure data storage, further assisting carbon project developers.

PLENO offers solutions to make the issuance of carbon credits faster, cheaper, and more accurate.

How is PLENO different?

There is a growing trend of sustainability initiatives in the Web3 space, but the majority of Web3 carbon credit projects tend to focus on either as marketplaces or tokenization players and providing investments for carbon projects.

PLENO, on the other hand, is strategically positioned to target the vital middle ground of the carbon market. The team plays a pivotal role in assisting project developers in the establishment of high-quality projects.

The minimum viable product (MVP) of PLENO. Request early access here.

PLENO’s Focus: Blue Carbon and Mangroves

PLENO is currently focusing on mangroves and other blue carbon projects. These projects are still new but are growing quickly. Mangroves are great because they absorb a lot of carbon and help protect coasts and communities. They’re also hard to measure, which is why a new solution like PLENO is needed.

The mangrove forest in Indonesia. Image source: World Bank.

So far, PLENO is working on 3 pilot projects in Indonesia, a country with 3.5 million hectares of mangroves, about 23% of the world’s total. PLENO is also talking with mangrove project developers in other places like Bangladesh and the Philippines, among others. In the near future, PLENO will also cater to other blue carbon projects such as seagrass.

Mangrove is identified as Indonesia’s climate guardians. Image source: World Bank.

Blockchain and Web3’s impact on the carbon credit market

Nura firmly believes that blockchain technology and Web3 will deeply impact the carbon credit markets in the coming years. Currently, these technologies occupy a relatively small niche of buyers. However, Nura envisions a future where companies in this space actively forge partnerships, demonstrate the practical utility of blockchain, and grow together as an ecosystem. 

The co-founder is convinced that the goal of net-zero emissions and combating climate change cannot be achieved without carbon projects. Even though he anticipates that prices may experience a decline following the initial hype, it’s when the true innovators and builders will persist in advancing their projects.

“Web3 and Sustainability is a growing ecosystem, so we need to go together. We cannot do it alone… we need to prove that there is a real use case of using blockchain to solve problems such as carbon removal and its credits.”

Nura Linggih, Co-founder of PLENO

Make sure to follow PLENO on LinkedIn. PLENO is launching its 1st MVP in October, if you’d like to try it and stay ahead of the carbon market, register for early access here. For more information and partnership queries, contact Nura directly here.

Read more about ReFi and sustainability in Web3:

XRP Lawsuit: Key Insights and Future Impacts You Should Know

XRP Lawsuit

Ripple Labs achieved a partial victory in the XRP lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Southern District of New York on July 13th. Judge Analisa Torres ruled that XRP is not a security for programmatic sales but is classified as one for institutional investors

As the SEC aimed to impose regulatory measures on several crypto companies, the recent triumph of Ripple and its XRP currency has encouraged investors, and the prices of XRP and other cryptocurrencies catapulted last week following the news. 

However, both Ripple and the SEC could perceive this outcome as a potential victory, as it lends support to their respective arguments in the ongoing security classification debate. Future trials are also anticipated by various industry experts.

Latest Summary Judgment: SEC v.s. Ripple

This XRP lawsuit has been going on since December 2020 as the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple, its CEO Brad Garlinghouse, and its co-founder Chris Larsen, accusing the company of offering an unregistered security. The regulator alleged that Ripple had deliberately created an “information vacuum” (p.2) and selectively disclosed only the information it deemed essential.

From the latest summary judgment, the judge decided that XRP is NOT considered a security when Ripple puts XRP on exchanges for trading and when the company pays its employees with XRP. 

However, while Ripple celebrates its partial victory, some ruling favors the SEC. The court upheld the SEC’s position regarding “Ripple’s Institutional Sales of XRP to sophisticated individuals and entities.” The judge ruled that Ripple’s $728.9 million worth of XRP sales to hedge funds and sophisticated buyers WERE unregistered sales of securities.

Bill Hughes, a lawyer from ConsenSys, tweeted the summary of the SEC v.s. Ripple ruling on July 13th.

The SEC imposes stricter regulations compared to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). When a cryptocurrency is considered a security, failure to register the token with the SEC before listing it violates U.S. laws. The SEC has achieved significant wins in civil lawsuits against and Kik for conducting initial coin offerings (ICOs) to fundraise, resulting in alleged violations of securities laws in 2019 and 2020.

The classification of a financial asset as a security or commodity hinges on the Howey Test, which refers to the U.S. Supreme Court case (SEC v. Howey). The Test determines if a transaction qualifies as an “investment contract” under securities laws. According to the SEC, an “investment contract” exists when “an investment contract exists if there is an “investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the efforts of others.”

In the Ripple v.s. SEC case, the judge thinks that the institutional investments in XRP should be considered a security as there is “a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others” (p.18). Ripple and its executives entice investors with the promise of improving the crypto ecosystem, thereby creating anticipation of returns through the purchase of XRP tokens.

Image source: U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. “SEC vs. Ripple Labs,” p.19.

Why Is the XRP Lawsuit Important for the Crypto Industry?

The case outcome may impact future crypto lawsuits

The outcome of the Ripple v.s. SEC case may set a precedent for similar lawsuits involving other crypto companies and the SEC.  In a recent lawsuit involving Coinbase, the SEC categorized Polygon (MATIC), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), and Stellar Lumens (XLM) as securities.

The SEC also launched investigations on Binance’s BNB token and the ApeCoin token of Bored Apes Yacht Club. Therefore, the court’s determination on whether XRP tokens are securities and fall under SEC oversight holds significant implications for companies, investors, and the entire industry.

Stellar, for example, provides technology for various prominent crypto entities, including Circle, Coinme, Abra, Anchorage, and Binance. If the SEC triumphs over Ripple in this case, it’s likely that the regulator would file a separate lawsuit against Stellar and its creators, which will have a market-wide impact on the entire crypto market.

Watch the full panel for insights into Stellar and other companies pioneering Web3 infrastructure development!

Ripple is expected to bring TradFi into Web3

The XRP court case has garnered significant attention in crypto communities due to Ripple and XRP’s potential to facilitate the entry of traditional finance (TradFi) players into the crypto space. With a market cap of 33.87 billion euros, Ripple’s XRP is one of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrencies.

The company developed RippleNet, which utilizes blockchain technology to create a global payment network, aiming to provide faster, cheaper, and more efficient cross-border payments. Transactions that would last a few days before can now be settled within seconds. 

With backing from notable entities like SBI Holdings, Banco Santander, and prominent venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, Ripple has reached a private valuation of $10 billion. The company and its XRP tokens play a vital role in bridging the gap between cryptocurrencies and TradFi.

Antony Welfare, Senior Advisor CBDC and Global Payments at Ripple, shares his viewpoints on CBDCs and how they can improve people’s lives worldwide.

Is It A True Win For Crypto?

The crypto industry is celebrating its victory against the SEC as the prices of various cryptocurrencies surge. Three major US crypto exchanges, Coinbase, Kraken, and Gemini decided to give XRP listing a second chance after the court ruling.

The market displays a bullish sentiment towards the XRP ruling, with industry professionals expressing optimism for the future. The distinction between securities and commodities gains clarity with the decision. Optimists believe that this decision is likely to prompt the SEC to reevaluate its approach in other ongoing cases, potentially categorizing additional tokens as non-securities. According to Bloomberg, many people believe that platforms like Coinbase may now face fewer concerns regarding public purchases.

However, as crypto market investors rejoiced following the ruling, some crypto experts have taken the contrarian stance. Antonio Juliano, the founder of dYdX, tweeted to advise investors to remain cautious of fraudulent “pump and dump” schemes prevalent in the market. 

Christian Schultz, a former official at the SEC division of enforcement, stated that as the institutional sales of XRP were considered investment contracts by the judge, virtually all ICO might be classified as securities in the future. 

What Will Happen Next?

Even though the New York Times states that the ruling of Thursday might complicate SEC’s case with Binance and Coinbase and “provide fodder for the crypto industry to defend itself in court,” the judges of those cases still “have to make separate determinations about whether the sale of those digital assets broke the law.”

Several experts also cautioned that the order on Thursday was just a partial summary judgment from a single district court judge. The conclusions and rationale of this decision are somewhat confined to the particular dispute at hand. It is important to note that judges within the same court, and even federal judges nationwide, disagree with or ignore this decision.

Palley and Preston Byrne, partners at Brown Rudnick, stated that the summary judgment is not the end of this lawsuit. The case can still be appealed or even reversed, and they expected a trial soon. It is thus crucial not to “yolo into anything based on that decision.” ConsenSys lawyer Bill Hughes also expected SEC to appeal immediately. 

Consequently, the outcome of the XRP lawsuit has the potential to impact the regulatory landscape of the entire crypto industry, as an appeal opportunity exists that could lead to a revision of the decision.

EBC Insights on the XRP Lawsuit

It’s important to remember that this Ripple v.s. SEC lawsuit pertains specifically to the US. Regulations in different regions do not follow a global-encompassing, one-size-fits-all approach, as highlighted by Alex Strzesniewski, Founder & CEO of AngelBlock. Understanding compliance nuances is essential

In Europe, the most important regulations are the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) and the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA). EBC panelists have discussed its impact on the stablecoin industry. The European Union’s approach, as explained by Joachim Schewin from the European Commission, focuses on empowering decentralized initiatives from individuals, reflecting a distinct perspective from the US.

Panelists discussed the impact of crypto regulations at the 8th European Blockchain Convention.

Several speakers at EBC expressed their desire to address the regulatory fragmentation across countries. Ernest Lima from XReg Consulting highlighted that MiCA can serve as a benchmark for other jurisdictions. 

Michael Fasanello, Crypto Compliance Officer at AnChain.AI, stressed the significance of collaborative efforts to educate governments about blockchain technology’s benefits, preventing overreactions and hasty bans. Coty de Monteverde, Blockchain Center of Excellence Director at Banco Santander, also suggested that banks and service providers should collaborate in adapting to forthcoming regulations.

With the crypto space entering a new era of regulations, EBC gathers industry leaders, TradFi experts, and legal professionals to explore the future of crypto. With growing enthusiasm from TradFi and Web3 enthusiasts, the next EBC is a must-attend event for stakeholders, entrepreneurs, and developers alike!

European Blockchain Convention 9 Press Release

Crypto Enthusiasm Soars! Traditional Finance Titans Embrace the Crypto Frontier

Crypto Enthusiasm Soars

Bitcoin reached a more than one-year high last week, following BlackRock’s announcement to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The proposed Bitcoin ETF aims to address the issue of accurate price representation. Unlike existing Bitcoin-based products, the game-changing application will enable BlackRock to buy or sell bitcoins at the end of each trading day, ensuring that the ETF reflects the true price of the cryptocurrency.

As the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock’s application created significant waves in the industry. Despite recent regulatory scrutiny and lawsuits against crypto giants Coinbase and Binance, institutional interest in the crypto space has surged! Bitcoin has gained nearly 25% since BlackRock’s filing, signaling growing enthusiasm from traditional financial institutions.

The move by BlackRock, along with the involvement of traditional banks like Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and Citadel Securities in the crypto exchange EDX Markets, has reignited investor interest in cryptocurrencies. 

However, this is not the first case when TradFi meets crypto, as actors from traditional finance institutions have been venturing into this realm for quite some time. In fact, various projects have been shared at the past European Blockchain Convention.

EBC panels featuring traditional finance experts always attract significant attention from attendees.

JP Morgan, for example, has initiated several projects on digital asset tokenization. The bank conducted the first institutional DeFi trade in 2022, and they have issued on-chain bonds, built a cash-on-chain system called JPM Coin, and developed a digital financing app for intraday repo. The Markets DLT – Credit Lead at JP Morgan also stated that there’s a need to revise the whole financial system while both technology and regulations should be taken into account. 

Societe Generale-FORGE, believing that the future of finance will be TradFi and DeFi coming together, worked with MakerDAO, a leading DeFi protocol, to issue security tokens. Representatives from both companies host a fireside chat to share the experience of this alliance at the 8th EBC.

HSBC also issued a £50 million blockchain bond on their bond tokenization platform Orion, which allows for native issuance, coupon payments, redemption, and secondary trading. 

Professionals from venture capital firms also expressed optimism and high interest in the crypto space at past EBC events. Panelists from Fidelity and NGC Ventures stated that their companies have been actively investing in the Web3 and crypto space. Investors from Pantera Capital and Lattice Fund joined EBC to discuss the future of crypto funding from a VC perspective, highlighting the significant opportunity to disrupt established players in the crypto industry.

Stay ahead of the DeFi curve and be part of the financial discussion at the next EBC!

Being the largest blockchain, crypto, and Web3 event in Europe in the upcoming 2023, the next European Blockchain Convention is THE event that you simply can’t afford to miss out on! EBC will be the perfect place to delve into crucial discussions about the latest regulations and market trends while getting an amazing platform to showcase your products and stay ahead of the game!

See who’s coming to the next EBC:

Revolutionizing Environmental Markets: The Role of Blockchain in ESG

Panelists Emilie Allaert, Project Lead at Luxembourg Blockchain Lab, Andres J. Ruiz-Vargas, Head of Research at Codos Foundation, Markus Ament, Co-founder of Centrifuge, Gabriel Ibghy, General Council of HIVE Blockchain Technologies LTD, and Dana Gibber, Co-Founder & CEO of Flowcarbon, discussed ESG and blockchain at the 8th EBC!

How Can Blockchain Technology Be Used in ESG?

Dana thinks that the key is to find specific use cases to utilize blockchain technology to solve specific problems. She and Markus both think the existing carbon markets are inefficient. It can be improved by building a new system on the blockchain for creating, monitoring, trading, and retiring carbon credits. 

Andres, on the other hand, shares his work at the Codos Foundation. They are working on Proof of Sustainability and rewarding people that conduct sustainable actions with tokens. For example, the Codos App encourages people to commute by train, bus, or bike to reduce their carbon emissions. 

“There is a part where the technology needs to evolve more. And the more it evolves, the easier it would be for people to adopt it and play with it.”
– Andres J. Ruiz-Vargas, Head of Research at Codos Foundation

Is Your Business Affected By Criticism of Bitcoin?

Representing HIVE, Gabriel mentioned that they are using sustainable resources to mine digital assets like Bitcoin. The company provides demand response and grid balancing services to municipalities, monetizing stranded power and contributing positively to the utility’s balance sheet through blockchain technology.

Even though there has been quite a lot of criticism of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, Gabriel believes that bad press exists in all industries, and he thinks bad press starts with misunderstanding and when the business is further away from the communities. 

Speaking from HIVE’s experience, the company connects with the local community, participates in their activities, and actually benefits the residents, so it’s receiving positive feedback from the local media.

The panelists are discussing how blockchain can be implemented in ESG at EBC23.

How Do You See ESG and Blockchain in the Next 5 to 10 Years?

Markus expects the carbon markets to grow 50x in 5-7 years, and he foresees that blockchain technology plays a substantial role in the circular economy and biodiversity.

Gabriel thinks that the use of sustainable energy for digital asset mining can lead to more integration in institutions like universities and greenhouses. He also believes that there will be more and more projects in the future that make sense for both utilities and consumers.

Apart from carbon credits, Dana thinks that other types of environmental commodities, such as biodiversity credits, are also growing in importance. She argues that these markets are inefficient and experiencing rapid growth, and blockchain can provide infrastructure to make them more transparent and liquid.

Andres is convinced that the panelists on stage now are not the only ones working on ESG and blockchain, and he’s excited to see how the market will develop and what kind of innovative competitors they will have in the coming years.

Watch the full discussion to learn more about blockchain and ESG!

Stablecoins and CBDCs: what does the future look like?

An exciting discussion took place at the 7th European Blockchain Convention about the importance of stablecoins and CBDCs. The panel discussion consisted of Thomas Moser, Alternate Member of Governing Board at Swiss National Bank, Jean Safar, Director of Client Experience Engineering at Digital Asset, Monty Metzger, CEO & Founder at LCX and Dorian Vincileoni, Business Development Manager at Kucoin.