The Evolution of Regen Network

As we embark on our next phase of decentralization, let’s take a retrospective look at the birth, evolution, and impact of Regen Network

Regen Network
Regen Network

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Regen Network was born from the realization that existing economic systems fail to consider or incentivize ecological well-being. By merging blockchain technology with ecology, Regen Network presents a new approach to addressing critical environmental challenges. The platform aims to revolutionize how society values and recognizes ecological stewardship.

As we embark on the next phase of decentralization at Regen Network, poised for rapid acceleration in our climate impact project pipeline, it is fitting to reflect on the progress we have made as a community.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased to be working with the team we brought together. Each of us was sitting with the hard realities of what our planet is facing and searching for some way to make a meaningful impact. This project has been driven all along by a deep and honest need to contribute to the regeneration of the planet.“

— Christian Shearer, Co-Founder of Regen Network Development PBC

Inception and Vision

The Regen Network project took its first steps between 2017 and 2018, stemming from Terra Genesis International’s pursuit of regenerative supply chain strategies. Co-founders Gregory Landua and Christian Shearer recognized the dire need for reliable ecological impact data, prompting them to birth the concept of Regen Network. This intersection of ideas led to a collaboration with GOLEM, a blockchain company that shared this same vision. Notably, Gregory’s appearance at Devcon 3 in Cancun garnered significant attention, underscoring the potential of the Regen Network concept.

In the whirlwind of crypto’s 2017 bull run, Regen Network’s core team, Regen Network Development, remained steadfast in refining their whitepaper, prioritizing substance over trends. Despite missing the ICO wave, the project’s commitment to a solid foundation led to its incorporation in the US. With $12.5 million raised in the initial token offering, the network began its mission to accelerate regeneration through a domain-specific ledger, high-quality data, verification protocols, and tradeable ecocredits.

Christian Shearer, Co-Founder speaking at the Techstars accelerator event in 2019

Launching the Network

Regen Network’s selection for Techstars’ sustainability accelerator program in 2019, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, marked a pivotal moment. This platform facilitated connections and guidance, propelling the project forward. After three years of dedication, the launch of Regen Ledger in 2021 represented a monumental achievement. The launch event, featuring interviews with supporters and creators, was a testament to the community’s spirit. The network’s successful debut via Regen Ledger 1.0 underscored the culmination of meticulous planning, team growth, and collective determination.

In 2021, the Regen Foundation began its first year of operations with founding board members President Will Szal, Amanda Joy Ravenhill, and Dorn Cox with Revathi Kollegala serving as the foundation’s Executive Director. At mainnet launch, Regen Foundation was tasked with the stewardship of distributing 30% of $REGEN supply at launch to stakeholder groups such as smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples, rights of nature projects, and scientific researchers, has made substantial grants of locked $REGEN towards this end in the intervening period. Regen Foundation’s mission revolves around building ownership and governance around the public infrastructure and financial assets involved in eco-social systems.

Community Growth and Marketplace Launches

Regen Network’s journey continued with the establishment of community funding programs, DAOs like OpenTEAM and Commons Stack, and the formation of Cerulean Ventures, an investment firm committed to catalyzing the $50 trillion natural assets industry. Core application-specific software evolved through multiple iterations, enhancing features such as credit classes, basket tokens, and data anchoring. The launch of Regen Marketplace in October 2022 empowered users to buy, sell, transfer, and retire digital carbon credits. Shortly thereafter, Regen and Toucan Protocol collaborated to create a bridge from Polygon for Nature Carbon Ton (NCT) with coinciding carbon liquidity pools on the Osmosis DEX platform.

Regen Network’s influence goes beyond its own platform. RND has been the lead maintainer of the Cosmos SDK, a development kit that enables L1 blockchains to seamlessly build within the Cosmos ecosystem using modular software components. Regen spearheaded significant releases such as Stargate, a set of upgrades that complete the original roadmap laid out in the Cosmos Whitepaper, as well as, version 0.43.0 and 0.46.0, demonstrating their ability to drive innovation both within and beyond the protocol-level.

Pioneering Ecological Credit Standards with Regen Registry

Regen Network also ventured into the realms of emerging standards in the voluntary carbon and ecosystem service market through the creation of Regen Registry, a community-driven ecosystem service registry that is pioneering standards to promote ecological regeneration. The Registry’s guidelines are governed and owned by the community of issuers, who are stakeholders responsible for producing public goods related to ecological health outcomes. Regen Registry has a growing and impressive array of methodologies and credit classes that have been developed and published, illustrating the platform’s credibility and conviction. Currently, there are over 40 methodologies in progress, with 3 methods already published and 2 credit classes ready for use.

Image of biochar production by Kulshan Carbon Trust a Regen Registry project developer

Regen Foundation Operations and Initiatives

As the largest token holder in the Regen Network ecosystem, the Regen Foundation has established various projects. One of the first initiatives was the delegation program, which involves staking tens of millions of $REGEN across a validator set consisting of 75 members. Delegations are recalculated on a monthly basis, taking into account factors such as validator-set prominence, governance participation, community participation, uptime, and carbon-neutral status. This approach aims to optimize decentralization and dynamism.

Regen Foundation on team retreat at WIRRED in Barbados, 2022

In early 2022, Regen Foundation granted its first locked token grants, known as “Community Staking DAOs.” Through this process, they realized the importance of creating an educational community around the “enDAOment” process. Consequently, Cohort 1 was launched in the fall of 2022, comprising seven organizations on a pathway to receive $REGEN tokens and participate in governance. Additionally, in 2023, Cohort 2 will be introduced specifically for groups interested in establishing methodologies and listing on Regen Ledger.

Regen Foundation is also a co-founding Limited Partner in the Regen/Cosmos Ecosystem Fund, managed by Cerulean Ventures. The foundation has received donations from Ripple and Biome Trust to further its mission to ensure climate finance ultimately supports sovereign regenerative bioregional economies.

Regen Network team hosting a ReFi Round-table event for NYC Climate Week 2022 at Arcadia Earth

Market Traction and Impact

To date, over 700,000 credits have been sold and 180,000 credits have been retired for carbon neutrality claims. In 2020, RND has sold 124,000 CarbonPlus Grasslands carbon credits to Microsoft for their ambitious moonshot goal, one of the largest soil carbon credit issuances ever in Australia. In 2021, we developed a carbon offset partnership with Sotheby’s for their Natively Digital Curated NFT. In 2022, the natural bodycare company All Good and Jack Johnson’s Meet the Moonlight tour offset became carbon neutral. In 2023, we led the ambitious cross-chain governance initiative Cosmos ZERO, where we supported major protocols and validators within the Cosmos network, including Osmosis, Stargaze, Evmos, Gravity Bridge, and Cheqd, in offsetting their carbon omissions.

There is a proposal to introduce Permissionless Credit Classes, which, if approved, would enable you to design and deploy your own credits for your community, company, or bioregion. This development has the potential to be a powerful catalyst for the rapid deployment of ecocredits across various industries. The introduction of permissionless credit class development would complement the existing Regen Registry, serving as a high-integrity standards body that utilizes the Regen Ledger.

Sarah Baxendell, Dir of Ecosystem at Regen Network Development PBC speaking at Nebular Summit in Paris, 2023

Plans are also underway to introduce smart contracts to the Regen Ledger, unlocking creative possibilities for developers to innovate new applications using its core functionality with Cosmwasm. Additionally, the PoS token economics of the Regen Ledger are undergoing upgrades through a decentralized, community-driven process. A $REGEN tokenomics DAO has already raised $40k USD and aims to secure $100k USD in funding to expand the utility of $REGEN beyond network security and support network growth.

Looking Forward

We appreciate your journey with us thus far and are even more excited for what lies ahead. With over 2 million carbon and biodiversity credits expected to be issued in 2023 from the Regen Registry, along with more than 15 million hectares of land under ecological regeneration, the Regen Network community is just getting started in making a real-world climate impact possible.

In the upcoming phase, Regen Network Development PBC will focus on developing ecocredits and expanding the Regen Registry. The Regen Foundation will continue to guide the development of the Community Staking DAOs. Maintenance and development of the Regen Ledger will be community-driven, led by validators and partners.

The next chapters in the book of Regen Network will be authored by you. The platform is built, core features are ready, and the foundation is set. It’s time to envision how your institution or company can leverage Regen Network products to amplify impact, increase revenue, and regenerate our planet. Now is the time to actively participate in governing the world’s first public ecological ledger. As June Jordan once said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”.

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Regen Network
Regen Network

A blockchain network of ecological knowledge changing the economics of regenerative agriculture to reverse global warming.