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Ecosapiens Uses NFT Collectibles to Drive Soil-Base Carbon Sequestration

While at the Outer Edge LA 2023 Conference in Los Angeles, Blockchain Journal technical analyst Bob Reselman spoke with Ecosapiens co-founder and CEO Nihar Neelakanti, who believes that one of the keys to saving the planet is to use collectible NFTs as a means to fund the soil-based sequestration of airborne carbon. In the interview, Neelkanti tells Bob how his company is working with farms in Africa that handle the sequestration process. In exchange for purchasing an Ecosapiens collectible (each one is called an "ecosapien"), not only does the buyer get the collectible NFT, but some number of carbon credits (issued by the farmers) are connected to the NFT as evidence of the buyer's philanthropy.

(The full-text transcript appears below.)

Outer Edge LA

By Bob Reselman

Published:April 2, 2023

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4 min read

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Full-text transcript of Bob Reselman's Interview with Nihar Neelakanti, CEO of Ecosapiens

Bob Reselman: Hi, I'm Bob Reselman, and I'm here with Blockchain Journal, and I'm having the pleasure of interviewing Nihar Neelakanti, who's the CEO of Ecosapiens. Did I get it right?

Nihar Neelakanti: Yep. Thanks, Bob.

Reselman: Okay. Well thank you for your time, your interview. So tell us a bit about your undertaking.

Neelakanti: Sure. So, like you said, Co-Founder CEO of Ecosapiens, and we're on a mission to empower everyday people to make a positive impact on the planet. And we do so by making climate impact easy, economical, and engaging through our carbon-back collectible called an Ecosapien. So when you buy an Ecosapien NFT, you directly finance carbon removal projects in Africa, and in the process, you're offsetting your personal carbon footprint for the whole year.

Reselman: Wow, that sounds really clever, and it's brilliant, actually. Brilliant in a way. So maybe you can tell us a little bit more about how it works at global scale. I heard you're doing some stuff in Africa. Maybe you can elaborate on that.

Neelakanti: So we are partnered with an — or specifically a Kenya carbon soil-based project developer. And so we're talking farmers that are growing crops and they're able to actually sequester more carbon into their soil and protect it, right? Removing it from the air and preserving it in the soil. And that actually enhances sort of their crop production by the way, and does good for the planet. So we actually work with them to bring those assets, which they're this... The sequestration of carbon in that soil turns into a carbon credit. We buy those credits and we attach them to our collectible. And so the cool experience for you as a consumer is when you buy one, you're actually just directly financing that carbon sequestration in that soil in Africa.

Reselman: Wow, that's really interesting. I've heard that you're moving into some sort of enterprise undertakings too. Is that true?

Neelakanti: Yeah, and I think that's a super exciting area for us in moving forward in the next few quarters. Large companies have corporate sustainability programs. Many of them, like Amazon, Microsoft, [and] Striper have signed the climate pledge in this aim to get to net zero carbon emissions for a company. And a big part of that is buying carbon offsets to the tune of the hundreds of thousands of tons a year, which is what the Microsofts and Stripes do. And they do this to obviously comply with regulation[s], but they also do it to signal to customers that they're on the bleeding edge of climate change and doing something good for the planet. And frankly, that's a revenue driver.

There's a reason why Adidas and Nike are in a race to be the plastic-free, net-zero shoe company, right? It's because consumers today are actually putting their money where their mouth isn't saying, "Look, I want to shop with my values and I want to shop sustainably."

And so Unilever's fastest-growing revenue segments are actually sustainable brands. And so, one of the things for us that we're excited by is since many of these companies are already buying carbon, perhaps if the same carbon is packaged up as an Ecosapien that consumers already recognize and identify with as making an impact, it could be a unique one-of-one collectible, for example, that they could then showcase and buy and make a difference.

Reselman: Well, this sounds like a really positive way to go about implementing business innovation, that it's a really new vista, but it also has real benefits for just about everybody involved.

Neelakanti: Yeah, it's cool. You wouldn't imagine that a cool collectible that signals impact can actually make [a] real-world impact and it's because it is backed by this real commodity that's carbon that has been increasing in price and a lot of companies are buying.

Reselman: Wow. Well, this is a really enlightening interview. I'm really happy that you took the time to speak with us. You made me think about things differently. So I want to know how I can learn more about what you're doing and how I can actually go out and maybe buy one of these.

Neelakanti: Sure. So our website is www.ecosapiens.xyz. And the best way for you to get started in your journey from Homosapien to Ecosapien is by going to OpenSea and buying an Ecosapien collectible. And in that process, like I was saying, offset your entire personal carbon footprint for the year.

Reselman: Great, thank you. So this is Bob Reselman from Blockchain Journal reporting from Outer Edge at 2023 here in Los Angeles, California. And we've just gotten through interviewing Nihar, the CEO of Ecosapiens. So thank you for your time.

Neelakanti: Thanks, Bob.

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