NFTs for climate action

Web3 startups have joined the fight to combat climate change. One such company is TrayamBhu Tech Solutions (TRST01), which was founded in 2019 by Prabir Mishra, Suraj Teja, and Puru Modani to solve the lack of transparency in the carbon trading market.

The Reserve Bank of India has recommended that the government should frame regulations to ban cryptocurrencies, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, adding that international cooperation would be needed for such a move.

In other news, air conditioners are selling in India like hot cakes, with the industry recording cumulative sales of 6 million units in the first half of 2022, the highest ever.

Meanwhile, say hi to Plato! No, we do not mean the ancient Greek philosopher. This PLATO, or Physics Learning Through Auto-encoding and Tracking Objects, is an artificial intelligence (AI) system that learned "intuitive physics," i.e., how our universe's mechanics work—like a human baby.

Last week, UK-based AI research laboratory DeepMind published a study claiming that PLATO successfully learnt physics by watching videos, implying that it has successfully mastered “human intuition”, which is the biggest barrier between humans and machines.

NFTs for climate action

Web3 startups have joined the fight to combat climate change. One such company is TrayamBhu Tech Solutions (TRST01), which was founded in 2019 by Prabir Mishra, Suraj Teja, and Puru Modani to solve the lack of transparency in the carbon trading market.

What is carbon trading, you ask? A carbon offset is created when an individual or a corporation eliminates carbon by doing something sustainable—planting trees, investing in green initiatives or carbon positive initiatives. Then, these offsets can be purchased by another individual or company, allowing them the right to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions. Each credit equals one tonne of carbon.

The result—carbon emissions at net zero.

But the existing carbon market is perceived to be opaque, unorganised, and exclusive to big corporations, which is what TRST01 aims to change. In April, it launched Bhu, a carbon offset NFT token, and Arka, a solar offset NFT token.

NFT your carbon:

  • The startup has tied up with RubiX, a green blockchain protocol, as its technology partner for the same.
  • The carbon credits are digitised into NFTs and sold at $10 per credit on marketplaces.
  • The tokens are currently available on several marketplaces, including OpenSea and Rarible and will be available on JupiterMeta in future.

In a conversation with The Decrypting Story, Prabir says, “With blockchain technology, all the data is on-chain, traceable, and transparent, and we believe this could play a significant role in solving for climate action and agriculture."

C-CAMP on Indian bioeconomy

While C-CAMP, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, has come to be widely recognised as a catalyst for cutting-edge research in the life sciences, it has evolved from supporting scientific ideas to fuel entrepreneurship to leveraging the potential of scientific innovation for social impact.

C-CAMP, a premier innovation incubator supported by the Union government’s Department of Biotechnology, has so far supported more than 100 startups through funding, bio-incubation, and mentorship.

A boost for new ideas:

  • Pharmaceutical giant Cipla recently agreed to acquire a 21.05 percent stake in Achira Labs, a company that C-CAMP had funded during its idea stage.
  • The incubator has supported startups such as Pandorum Technologies (in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine); Bugworks (developing a novel class of antibiotics to tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistance); and Coeo Labs (working on preventing risk of ventilator associated pneumonia), among others.
  • C-CAMP is looking at helping accelerate the Indian economy towards reaching its $5-trillion target by 2026.

“Since 2009, we have been attempting to identify deep-science ideas and help nurture them to the next level of innovation. Now more so from a societal impact point of view,” Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO and Director at C-CAMP, says in an interview with YourStory. “While entrepreneurial success is very important, we have realised that in a country like India, innovation and scientific technology can make a huge social difference.”

Growing “affordable” diamonds

From affordability to ethical reasons and sustainability, lab-grown diamonds are finding their place in the jewellery market.

So, when Surya Jain, a fifth-generation jeweller, wanted to create a brand that could capture younger buyers, he turned to cultured diamonds.

In 2021, he teamed up with Abhishek Dak and launched Aupulent. The Delhi-based company sells lab-grown diamond jewellery, such as earrings, chains, bracelets and rings, through its website.

Most of its products fall in the price range of Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000.

Dazzle on a budget:

  • Globally, the diamond market was valued at $84 billion for FY22, according to Bain & Company.
  • Aupulent says lab-grown diamonds are much more affordable than mined ones, as mined diamonds are transferred through multiple hands, before the diamonds reach the hands of the customer, leading to a mark-up that’s 8-10 times more than what they cost.
  • According to Surya, it is hard to differentiate mined diamonds and lab-grown ones with the naked eye as they are chemically of the same composition.

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