On August 21, it was announced that Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) was partnering on the development of a market place using blockchain technology. In partnering with BioDiversity Solutions Australia (BDS), the financial institution hopes to create a platform that will be able to support sustainable development while rewarding landholders who are working to protect the environment.
It is hoped that this new development will enable investment opportunities for landowners, developers, environmental groups, and the government. By working with BDS, they hope to focus on supporting regional businesses across Australia by creating a tradable digital token, which will be referred to as “BioTokens.”
In 2017, the government in the North South Wales state introduced the idea of expanding biodiversity offsets schemes. This would require all developers to find and buy biodiversity credits to help offset the impact that these developments would have on the environment. These tokens would then be earned by landholders through the establishment of stewardship sites that protected biodiversity in perpetuity.
It has taken nearly two years to implement this plan, but it appears that BDS and CommBank are on the verge of making this a reality. Through the creation of these digital BioTokens, they will open a whole new marketplace for income for landowners, which should help to create investment opportunities for buyers and traders. Now all they are looking for are partners who will help to commercialize the platform.
In a statement from CommBank, the head of experimentation and commercialization for blockchain, artificial intelligence, and emergency technology, Sophie Gilder, explained:
This innovative prototype creates an accessible, transparent online marketplace where valuable biodiversity credits can be securely managed and traded using ‘BioTokens’ on blockchain — transferrable digital tokens which represent unique biodiversity assets. Our vision is that by digitizing biodiversity credits and building a marketplace where they can be bought and sold, we can invest in and protect our natural environments.
At this time, there is currently no marketplace for landholders and developers to be able to trade biodiversity credits. This is a market that has been sorely looking for someone to champion the idea, and this finally may be coming to fruition.
“Creating a transparent, accessible, secure, and liquid market place for the creation and trading of biocredits, aligns with our strategic focus on sustainability, support for regional economies and exploration of emerging technologies to deliver tangible benefits to our customers,” Gilder added.
No statement was provided as to when it is expected that the platform will be available.
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