The Next Market Trend: Decentralized Environmental VerificationBy Christopher Córdova | Mon, 08/22/2022 - 12:00
Let’s be honest, we know very little about nature. But what is more important in terms of today’s digital economy: we have very little data from nature.
No industry makes business decisions based on a few nuggets of data if there is a chance to get more. Blind spots are enemies of revenue and they can kill good businesses altogether.
The thing is, the basis for most industries is in fact nature, be it in the form of raw materials, resources, space or environmental services, such as water and fertile soil. And we have very little data from that basis of all our economic activities, so we have a problem that not only theoretically could, but that at this very moment is preventing us from more sustained and sustainable prosperity.
Just ask anyone in the real estate or tourism industries about the cost of not being prepared for natural disasters. Ask anyone in the fishing industry about the next 25 years. Ask anyone in the insurance industry how climate change will affect their business over the next two decades.
More data from nature (and greater transparency in that data) can only be a good thing for humanity and for business decisions.
Few industries really thrive with opacity today. In our age, the truth is that most industries are starting to thrive because of transparency. The market rewards the brave companies that dare to open data and be transparent about key metrics, supply chains, product origin, carbon footprint, and real brand values and aims. Do you think that opaque businesses will thrive in the digital age over the next few years or is it more likely that the general public will seek greater transparency? The customers of tomorrow will definitely prefer to know more about what they eat, wear, use, watch, and drive than the customers of today.
We have been witnessing for some time now the impactful growth of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and other technological breakthroughs related to decentralization. Crowdsourcing, crowd financing, and decentralization in general are here to stay, and their repercussions are still quite unclear for more traditional sectors; but the temptation for any industry to just ignore these deep-rooted social movements and market trends will come at a great existential risk. Just as ignoring climate change and biodiversity loss can only come at an incredibly high risk for any industry because of both the very real, physical factors (such as production constraints in the future: think food production or tourism on the coasts) and the reputational and brand factors (very few companies will be able to get away with not caring enough about the environment in the coming decades).
And all this is why the next revolution is Decentralized Environmental Verification (DEV).
To understand the potential impact of DEV, it is important to consider that currently we trust the certifier that says that a forest is well preserved and is capturing carbon dioxide. We also trust the certifier that says that a building project or a large infrastructure project will not destroy or negatively impact the environment. Finally, we trust the certifier that says that a sustainability project has this or that positive impact. This is marvelous but it is also a little outdated. We live in the era of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and the Internet of Things (IoT), so it is about time we enable Decentralized Environmental Verification.
DEV democratizes and crowdsources the protection of nature. DEV means using technology to make any human on the planet with internet access a potential independent verifier: anyone can have a look at the fresh data we input and see if it makes sense, or if there is a risk to an ecosystem, such as illegal hunting, or if the pollution levels of a lake have suddenly changed. So, DEV makes it easy for any person to help oversee the health of a specific ecosystem anytime, from anywhere in the world. This allows us to better protect, understand, and manage ecosystems.
DEV can provide data for more informed business decisions due to better strategic planning, more reliable prospective studies and forecasts, and let’s not forget, more trust among customers in the brands and companies that choose transparency over opacity when it comes to their relation with nature.
Biodiversity has been invisible to us for too long. It is about time that we harness the power of data to give biodiversity visibility, and the power of decentralization to guarantee transparency and enable trust. Radical Environmental Transparency (RET), which will be the ultimate result of DEV, will be good for business and for humanity, paving the way for new business models, new technologies, and even new industries.
This is just the beginning. This is also a trillion-dollar possibility, with gigantic repercussions across industries. Those who ride this wave early will have a substantial competitive advantage. Be certain that with Decentralized Environmental Verification, transparency will soon become a force of nature.
 A concept first explained in my book “Time for an Epic Victory: Protecting Nature with Exponential Technology” (Shared Ink Editions, April 2022). The concept was then further developed in subsequent lectures and interviews.