Leonard Harley is the Managing Director of impactChoice, and is the man behind the inspiration to create a modern marketplace for the trade of natural assets and carbon mitigation products, a market which has the potential to unlock a massive natural asset class. We caught up with Leonard to find out more about this ambitious project.

What is the main problem are you trying to solve?

When we look at how the trading of natural assets takes place today, it happens within a siloed, fragmented, inefficient, top-heavy and non-democratized environment. You have key selected players that have injected themselves into the process while adding very little value. Ultimately, this results in a lot of the carbon mitigation funds not flowing down to the communities that are actually performing the real work - the ones that are increasing the biomass, preserving the forests and growing trees.

Why Blockchain, and Why Now?

The time is right! 

At this very moment in time, the industry is in the state of flux. A lot of the blockchain technologies that have been supported through ICOs, token sales or crowdfunding, are aimed at enhancing the core blockchain space itself. 

We are looking to step into the next phase of this evolution, one where we start taking this disruptive capability and start implementing it into real-world use cases. This way, the true promise of the disruptive nature of distributed ledger technology and open blockchains can actually be brought to the fore.

So what is the Natural Asset Exchange?

It comprises of two main actors and a key element. One set of actors are the producers of natural assets. In other words, these are organizations that are out there creating these positive environmental impacts, which they then convert into tradable instruments. 

On the other hand, we have the consumers or the demand side. That's companies like us, at impactChoice, where we create demand for those assets by going into corporates and selling our solutions - solutions that automatically create demand for those natural assets. 

So the principle behind the Natural Asset Exchange is we create this decentralized, democratized, globally accessible, transparent and secure trading platform that allows us to connect the supplier and the consumer directly, without the need for extra layers of complexity and other intermediaries that inject inefficiency into the process.

Currently, it can take up to several weeks to receive an asset from the time that it is purchased. With the technology available today, this simply cannot continue.

The Natural Asset Exchange will remove all these inefficiencies and cost layers and bring the industry to a place where we can connect suppliers with consumers in a just-in-time fashion.

What is the EARTH Token?

The EARTH Token is the store of value and the medium of exchange of the Natural Asset Exchange platform. It enables transactions to take place with a singular, non-fiat based currency. The market will determine the value of the EARTH token and suppliers will be free to choose how many EARTH Tokens they wish to receive in return for a given product or service.

What can we look forward to if everything goes as planned?

Well, the other reason that I think the Natural Asset Exchange has really significant potential is we designed it in such a way that it can cater for natural asset products that haven't even been created yet. For example, there may be a particular product that gets created that looks after a specific geographical area, like a reef or that habitat of a specific species. 

We've designed it in such a way that it's open and we'll be able to plug in natural asset products that we haven't even seen yet. Hence why we haven't pegged the value of the actual EARTH Token itself to something like a carbon credit, because if we did, that would ring-fence us into the carbon space and ultimately we'd probably end up pegging it to a particular project which is even worse. 

We've already got agreement from one of our key suppliers. They really love the idea and they are 100% onboard. We’re also looking at injecting products like synthetic gas onto the blockchain for trade and exchange.

Where can readers find out more?

You can check out the website at https://earth-token.com for the details of the EARTH Token launch along with our whitepaper at https://earth-token.com/pdf/impactChoice-Earth-Token-Whitepaper.pdf