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Fighting climate crisis with NFTs: CENNZnet & CarbonClick hackathon

From our Partners

By techweek Techweek

20 May 2021

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What a week it has been for the CENNznet team! With the network’s NFT runtime module almost ready for mainnet it was the perfect opportunity to get our partners at CarbonClick involved in the journey.

Despite their trending reputation, on a Proof of Stake blockchain (like CENNZnet) NFTs offer an energy-efficient and agile way to help environmental focused projects like CarbonClick. But harnessing this brand new technology for the non-profit sector was going to be a novel challenge.

The result was a full day of hacking for the CENNZnet and CarbonClick dev teams. The aim, to create NFTs and blockchain infrastructure for the CarbonClick mission in just 8 hours! Here’s what was achieved:

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The Hackathon Challenge

There were 2 distinct challenges the CarbonClick team were hoping to solve with NFTs:

  1. Raising funds and awareness for community groups engaging in local reforestation efforts.
  2. Building a transparent solution for selling community carbon credits on the blockchain.

But before the teams got underway CarbonClick also set up the CENNZnet’s first green Validator node. This developer node will be run by the CarbonClick team and all CPAY rewards earned will be distributed to green projects worldwide.

Team Kenya

Taking on the first challenge was Team Kenya. They set about building a solution for using NFTs to raise funds for the local Kenyan initiative: One Source of Victory Self Help Group. Among many other important community activities, the One Source of Victory group empowers youth groups in diversified activities including Environmental conservation. CarbonClick began funding them a few months ago, and their achievements have already been very impressive.

Using NFTs the team found a way to raise a constant stream of funding for the One Source of Victory group and which can be applied to other similar local projects.

The solution:

  • The team created and minted NFTs based on photos of the One Source of Victory group. These NFTs are puzzle pieces of the original photos. Each photo consisted of 4 NFTs, encouraging people to strive for a complete collection.

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Photo broken up into 4 NFTs

Each NFT contains within its information:

  • The full parent image (greyed out so users can see the whole image but only details of their specific section)
  • The specific NFT token image
  • Information about the local project the money will go towards

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When you own one NFT of a set you can see your section alongside a greyed-out version of the parent image.

Each NFT is programmed so that:

  • For each initial sale 80% of the proceeds get sent to the One Source of Victory group. The other 20% goes towards CarbonClick’s running costs.
  • For all future sales the NFT is programmed so 50% of the proceeds go to the seller, the other 50% to CarbonClick — which is then split 20/80 again (20% to Carbon Click, 80% back to the initiative).
  • This process of reselling can be repeated indefinitely, with revenue being constantly generated and 80% of the 50% (so 40% of the total sale amount) being sent each time to One Source of Victory.

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By using NFTs, the team has found a way to provide an easy and secure mechanism to raise funds for local environmental groups. The division of sale proceeds is programmed into the NFT on the blockchain, so it is impossible for any person or organisation to divert funds away from the intended project. Users also have full visibility over where each portion of funds goes, essentially creating a trustless donation.

Awesome work team!

Team Carbon Pool

Team Carbon Pool had a different challenge on their plate. Taking on the second objective, the team were charged with creating an on-chain system where users could buy verified carbon credits to either sell or sequester them.

This sounds a lot simpler than it is. In order to succeed the team needed to create a fully decentralised structure where genuine carbon credits could be minted, trusted by the community and then bought by individuals who could either sell them on, or sequester them (take the carbon out of the system).

The solution:

  1. Creating a generic asset: CarbonClick has calculated based on their sequestering projects that there are 1.4 million tones of carbon that can currently be sold as credits. To represent this carbon on the blockchain the team made a generic asset.
  2. Tokenising the generic asset: Once made, the generic asset can then be divided into tokens. In this case, 3000 tokens that can be bought individually or in bulk as carbon credits.
  3. Verifying the carbon with NFTs: But how can the community trust that carbon credits they buy on this blockchain actually represent real carbon sequestered from the atmosphere? To link carbon credits to real carbon, CarbonClick mints NFTs onto the chain. These NFTs represent each of the carbon sequestering projects they work with and the amount of carbon these projects are responsible for sequestering. For example, they may calculate that a reforestation project in Timaru sequesters 1,000 credits worth of carbon. Before purchasing carbon credits from the generic asset, community members can first verify the number of credits against those represented by the NFTs. This provides an easy way for users to see where and how the carbon represented is being captured.
  4. Buying carbon credits: After auditing the number of carbon credits and checking which projects they are aligned to, a user can purchase carbon credit tokens on the chain and store them in their wallet. These tokens can then be sold on or sequestered (taken out of the system)
  5. Selling carbon credits: A user can choose to sell their carbon credits. This essentially just creates a trade out of the carbon system.


6. Sequestering carbon credits: A user can sequester their carbon credits on the chain, symbolising that the carbon has been taken out of the atmosphere. To do this they send their purchased carbon credits to the Sequester Wallet. This is a wallet on the chain which no one has access to, meaning all tokens in this wallet are essentially outside the system and can never be used again.

This whole process is summed up in the diagram below:

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NFTs are coming!

Congratulations to both teams! They pulled together some super creative ideas and all of the tech behind it in an impressively short period of time.

Their work highlights just how many opportunities there are for NFTs in the real world. Not only are they fantastic digital collectables, but they also allow for secure, transparent streams of revenue or blockchain supported stamps of authority.

As more of our runtime modules go live, we are looking forward to more hackathons and joint ventures to create some super cool case studies. Stay tuned for what we do next!

To stay up-to-date on the progress of our technology, follow us on TwitterTelegramLinkedInDiscord and Instagram.

CENNZnet is an Advocate Partner of Techweek2021

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