ReFi Roundup 2022 - The Year of Regenerative Finance!
Rewind on the Birth, Growth and Impact of the ReFi Movement this year: From Carbon Credits to the Holistic Regeneration Revolution!
Happy 2023 Regens, Monty here alongside Humberto and Anna of Urbánika 👋 Its good to be back and we hope you have had some restful and festive holidays! As we begin this new year, let's take a moment to look back on how far we have come... but before we get started, we also would like to announce the launch of ReFi DAO on Mirror.xyz, we have immortalised the year of ReFi 2022 with this article being our first post! We would be super super grateful if you wanted to support our work and collect the NFT, check it out below 👇
Now lets get into it...
The ReFi Tiger 🐯
2022 was the year of the Tiger. Tigers are often associated with strength, majesty, and immortality - yet with the global market meltdowns, crumbling institutions, and an ever growing climate and environmental crisis, this symbolism may sound quite distant from the reality faced this year. But not for ReFi...
This year, ReFi has risen and grown from a niche corner of Web3 bringing carbon credits on-chain, to a movement of people and projects bringing regenerative values into a multitude of new sectors and spaces. There have been many challenges along the way, yet there is so much for us to be proud of and grateful for. Incredible projects have launched, events have been held all over the globe, and a thriving supportive community has emerged. ReFi is solidifying into an unstoppable environmental, social and economic movement, and we can't wait to see what emerges in the coming year...
But first, lets take a moment to reflect on where we have come from, where we are now, and where we might be heading... Lets dive in 🕳️🐇
The Story of ReFi 🦚
Where it all began 🌱
In early 2021, Regen Network was the first notable project taking big steps in utilising public blockchain technology to create the infrastructure for an ecological fintech ecosystem of environmental assets.
“The launch of Regen Ledger is a big step in fulfilling a critical component of our vision to develop ecological fintech infrastructure designed to unlock innovation to combat climate change and regenerate ecosystems” Regen Registry will be the world’s first Ecosystem Service Registry that is fully and natively integrated with a domain-specific public blockchain. “The integration of dMRV, registry, and blockchain is unique and provides the tools that the emerging climate finance industry needs to ensure quality, integrity, and accountability in the new climate action market,”
Gregory Landua (Apr 2021)
While Regen Network laid solid foundations, it was KlimaDAO and Toucan Protocol launch that started to catalyze wider momentum. By the end of 2021, approaching 20 million carbon credits had been brought on-chain and the $KLIMA token reached an all time high of over $3600. The meme of ReFi was born.
From meme to movement 🧗
Coming into the start of 2022 and the euphoria of the previous year was fading fast. $KLIMA was down bad and one might have thought that ReFi was coming to an end as quickly as it started. Yet out of the ashes of this decline, and inspired by the idea of redesigning incentives for a positive impact on our planet, a resilient community started to emerge.
Many more voices joined the fold and fragmented communities of projects began meeting and collaborating. Organizations like Blockchain for Climate Foundation, Moss.Earth, Open Forest Protocol, Flowcarbon, Thallo, Senken and many others emerged to share even more possibilities and visions for on-chain carbon. Even as the sector faced new headwinds with Verra's freezing of on-chain carbon credit tokenization, the community clubbed together to participate in the public consultation. While we are yet to see the full outcome of this, one way or another, on-chain carbon looks set to continue its impressive growth and innovation in the coming year.
Offsetting History ⚖️
One of the biggest milestones this year was of course the widely anticipated Ethereum merge. In September, the blockchain made its switch from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake (aka “The Merge”) and it represented quite possibly the fastest-ever decarbonisation of any sector ever. It lowered Ethereum’s running emissions by 99.95% and cut global energy consumption by 0.2% at the flick of a switch! 🚀 Yet the ReFi community is pushing to not stop there - what about the large history of legacy emissions? Throughout the year, many Web3 entities have worked to offset their historical emissions, from individual protocols to whole blockchains. Most recently, alongside coalition of partners from the Ethereum Community, Regenerative Finance (ReFi) and Public Goods movements, organizations like the Ethereum Climate Platform and Blocks.garden have launched with the ambitious goal to support the offsetting of the entire legacy carbon footprint of Ethereum itself!
Crypto could go down as the first industry on earth to decarbonize its entire energy history - Ethereum is just the beginning… ⚡ ♻ 🚀
Embracing Diversity 🌟
But carbon is just one part of the ReFi story. Recognising a wide array of interconnected and overlapping issues the world faces, in 2022, ReFi intentionally pushed past the “carbon tunnel vision” and embraced all manner of social, economic, and ecological values - plastic removal, community economies, ocean metagenomics, forest biodiversity, marine ecosystems, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Universal Basic Income (UBI), and much more.
The space is also striving towards diversity of ecosystem participants themselves, recognising the importance of elevating voices of the traditionally marginalised and making ReFi more inclusive.
ReFi DAO Reflections ⭕️
It's also been a big year for ReFi DAO. We are super grateful to be supporting and promoting this exciting and inspiring ecosystem, here are some of our highlights from this year.
Founder’s Circles kicked off in the summer, with over 150 applications for its second cohort. The emotions, vulnerability, support and kindness given in those circles created beautiful relationships between founders in the space, helping to sow seeds of collaboration and togetherness.
ReFi Spring has supported over 27 on-the-ground events across the globe (17 of which in the global south), forming another key foundation for new connections in this community. Check out a recap of these below! 👇
The ReFi DAO Blog has grown to over 1600+ subscribers and seen 47 weekly ReFi news Roundups, 11 project Deep Dives, 4 Event Retrospectives and the launch of two new content streams, ReFi Radar & Community Stories—all of this coming from an ever growing and diverse community of ReFi content creators from across the globe!
ReFi Podcast has seen 24 episodes this season, bringing total downloads to over 31,000 from listeners in over 50 countries worldwide and featuring an amazing variety of guests and projects. Take a look at the ReFi Podcast mega-thread to recap each episode and some of the key highlights along the way....
To close out the year, ReFi Podcast have posted their final episode of the year with jE and Simar gratefully reflecting on 2022. Joined by Helena from Spirals and Brian from LOA LABS, they discuss the brilliant and ambitious individuals that they have met and collaborated with in 2022.
You can expect much more coming from ReFi DAO and the entire ReFi community coming in 2023 - see you there! 👀
2022 is a wrap 🗞️
Overall, there is a lot to be proud of this year. There have been so many inspiring events, project launches and community moments this year (of which only a snapshot has been covered in this Roundup) and we are super grateful for all those involved. At the same time, the guiding star of ReFi is its real impact on the ground 🌟 So before we sign out, lets take a moment to dive into some key impact data sourced from the community... 👇
ReFi Impact 2022 📈
Inspired by Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics, Jan Konietzko's Carbon Tunnel Vision and Ryan Panchadsaram's Speed and Scale, we have created a map to start to measure and log our ecosystems progress according to metrics that really matter. So far, over sixty projects filled out our survey to share some highly impressive impact - thank you to everyone involved! Check them out at the interactive ReFi Impact 2022 Dashboard and vote on the top performers! 👇
To note - this map is only a first draft and it only includes those who filled out the form. But let this act as a rough marker of where we are at today and a signal of focus for the coming year - we look forward to how this map will evolve in 2023... 💚
If your project is missing, submit it below - we will be doing follow up posts throughout the coming weeks and beyond!
What will 2023 have in store? 🐇 🕳️
2023 is the Year of the Rabbit - often symbolising prosperity, abundance, and good luck. We think it will be the year ReFi comes out of the rabbit hole and takes on the world. LFG 🚀
That is our prediction for 2023, here are some others from key insiders in the community:
Enjoyed this special edition of ReFi Roundup?
We loved it, but it took a lot of pulling together - we would be super super grateful if you might consider collecting this historic snapshot of ReFi 2022 on Mirror!
Or if you like, share on Twitter and let us know what you thought of 2022! 👇
Thank you! ❤️
Happy new year and cheers to every single one of you! 🍻🥂🤝
As we've seen, 2022 has been a momentous year for the regenerative finance movement. And the most important part of it is the incredible people that continued to build despite the market situation. Thank you for being here.
And as a sign of appreciation, we prepared a POAP for you to download. Send us a DM on Urbánika's Twitter page with the secret word: phoenix
Let's continue building a brighter future for all. ❤️
And special thanks to Monty for being there even in these hectic days of year transitioning and to Nura and Thoughtfloats for their contributions!