ICO Analysis: Earth Token
impactChoice is in the business of environmental impact mitigation, and will launch Earth Token this year. Its software solutions across industries help businesses calculate, assess and act on their carbon footprint. Businesses can more accurately pass costs onto consumers or offset environmental impact by, say, donating to a charity or buying and protecting a natural asset.
In order to manage such a complex arrangement, impactChoice decided to launch a permissioned blockchain ledger, the Natural Asset Exchange. The Earth Token will serve as the platform’s native token. “How had we allowed corporate greed to get us to a state where we could kill all life on this planet?” writes Co-Founder and Managing Director Leonard Harley in a blog post.
I closed my lucrative IT company immediately and focused all my efforts on trying to find some mechanism, some solution, some technological approach like a software platform – anything – to solve this problem. It’s life or death.
Harley says in the blog post that eight months of research informed his decision about how to implement impactChoice solutions for environmental impact mitigation into business transactions. “It struck me after doing my research that it’s not that difficult for companies to become responsible and environmentally sustainable if one looks at those mechanisms available in terms of market driven mechanisms,” he writes.
I concluded companies must take sustainability on as a strategic initiative within.
Angus Row is a Co-Founder and Chairman of Earth Token. He has a Graduate Diploma in Company Direction from the Graduate Institute of Management Technology and has attended the Owner/President Management Executive Education course at Harvard Business School.
Leonard Harley is a Co-founder and Managing Director, as well as an IT Director. He developed the first version of the company’s carbon mitigation trading platform in 2008, and taught himself to code at age 14. Harley is responsible for the day to day aspects of impactChoice, including strategy. He sees impactChoice projects from beginning to end, while also negotiating legal contracts with suppliers and clients. He founded PortalUniverse in 2000, but the company is now under the umbrella o impactChoice Group.
Peter Newell serves as Operations Director and Acting Financial Director. Mr. Newell served as a corporate adviser with the Co-operative Bank from 2006-2009. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of South Africa.
Blockchain consortiums like R3 and Hyperledger convinced Harley that the blockchain platform could be the answer for managing the complex accounting of natural assets. impactChoice intends to do similar with the Natural Asset Exchange, which will be suited for the financial services and banking industry, “while also democratizing these industries.”
impactChoice opted to implement its solution atop the blockchain platform Multi-chain, a fork of the original bitcoin core protocol. The Natural Asset Exchange and Earth Token connects buyers of Natural Assets with sellers, while providing the perceived added benefits of blockchain technology.
Incorporated in the Republic of Mauritius, and established in 2009 to provide environmental sustainability solutions, ImpactChoice has decided to rebuild its platform based on permissioned-ledger and blockchain technology, the Natural Asset Exchange. That vision includes a native token, the Earth Token. impactChoice has offices in the U.S., U.K., South Africa and Mauritius.
Thinking more in terms of the large blockchain consortiums than open-source blockchain communities like Bitcoin and Litecoin, impactChoice sees itself as serving first business and even the “commanding heights” of society to help create a more sustainable way of life. impactChoice claims blockchain technology can allow for simpler accounting of mankind’s carbon footprint.
The Natural Asset Exchange, and native Earth Token, seeks to create a better way of managing the Earth’s Natural Capital. The blockchain-based platform and token connects natural asset producers and buyers, seeking to provide a flexible pricing mechanism for Natural Assets. This will eliminate fraud and double counting, the team claims. impactChoice envisages a blockchain-fueled natural commodity exchange eliminating the requirement for buyers to fund escrow accounts; minimum transaction volume; reduced transaction fees; and simultaneous fulfillment and settlement reducing lead times.
The project wants to conceptualize, develop and launch global voluntary corporate Emissions Trading Scheme; to establish exhibitor, conference and events specific teams, develop annual global participation calendar and execute. As well, the project envisages the commercialization of climate neutral fuel. By releasing rolling upgrades of enhanced functionality on both blockchain platforms each six months.
Funding will also go towards improving upon the impactChoice Natural Asset, and acquiring 3.5m tns of carbon credits from the Kariba + REDD project (carbongreenafrica.net) via the Natural Asset Trading Exchange, as well as Energy Management Systems company, as well as establishing a Network Operations Centre.
Certified Natural Capital Climate Asset project developers will be able to list their products (including carbon credits, RECs, metered output and more) on the platform. Goals for the firm include developing a Greenhouse Gas Protocol; strategically acquiring Identified Environmental Management Systems company, and interfacing EMS ISO 14001 modules into a core Carbon Mitigation Solution Platform. The project has highlighted its 1st investment (waste-to-energy project described above).
impactChoice has very limited blockchain experience, as far as the author can tell. Further, there will only be 60% of the overall tokens distributed. 40% will be held onto by the company. The inner-workings of the Natural Asset Exchange, furthermore, remain somewhat of a myster as the white paper does a nice job explaining the theory behind the Earth Token and Natural Asset Exchange, but fails to dive into the technicals of the platform itself.
The Earth Token will be an ERC20 Standard Token, and will trade under the ticker ETN. This will be a maximum of 275 million tokens available. The project’s token sale is due to begin October, 23 2017. It will last but 21 days, and will be funded by Ethereum and Bitcoin. Distribution will take place 30 days after the token sale. There will be a PRE-ICO, and then three additional stages of the ICO. The minimum purchase is 1 ether or .1 bitcoin.
Funding will be put towards hiring; developing marketing materials and campaigning; developing sales collateral and executing campaigns across multiple channels; establishing and training sales teams; expanding territorial presence, marketing and sales reach, as well as developing and launching the Climate Asset Trading Exchange. The project also wishes to establish a non-profit foundation.
This isn’t financial advice, but, rather, a look into the different aspects of token sales and what makes them unique or the same.
- A red flag might be impactChoice’s lack of experience in the blockchain industry. Developing distributed applications is a different skillset than centralized software. There are other token sales with developers who are more experienced in the world of blockchain.
- That 40% of the tokens will be held by the team itself could represent a less attractive distribution pattern than offered by some other token sales.
- Comments about vesting periods of tokens throughout the white paper are vague.
- The tokens being held by the team, according to the white paper, will be put towards marketing and business development which could help Earth Token acquire the key institutional partnerships it needs to make the Natural Asset Exchange a reality.
- impactChoice, who will be managing Earth Token and the Natural Asset Exchange, have a formidable track history in software development, working to this day with Hotel Verde and Oracle.
- Earth Token and the Natural Asset Exchange represent impactChoice’s move into a blockchain space few companies have looked into.
- The Natural Asset market is $120 trillion, a rather large market for impactChoice to find a niche in which to profit.
We give Earth Token a 7 out of 10.
Due to its history, and its deployment in namely Hotel Verde, we believe the Earth Token is worthy of a 7.0. Its software is deployed in businesses globally, which is worth 5 points for us. That the company has been around for nearly a decade, and has worked with Oracle, is worth another three points. The development team’s lack of experience in blockchain technology, to be sure, is problematic aspect, and worthy of a one point deduction. Here are the three main takeaways Hacked sees:
- Worked with global software provider Oracle.
- Only 60% will be made available to public could place token holders at the whim of the project Team.
- The team has limited experience in blockchain technology.
The company, which wants to raise 200,000 ether, released April 2017 the latest version of its permissioned blockchain ledger climate asset management and trading platform. Demonstrating its confidence in Ethereum in its white paper, the project calls Ethereum “future-proof”, and cites IoT smart contracts. Learn more at Earth-token.com.