BeinCrypto spoke to Kristijan Tot, COO of World of Waves. He discusses building conservation-focused crypto and why sustainability is making a name on the blockchain.
Sustainability is a buzzword that has made its way through every industry. From fashion to food, being sustainable and caring about your personal impact on the environment has ramped up significantly.
In 2021, this conversation reached crypto and blockchain technology.
This is understandable, as cryptocurrencies have come under heavy scrutiny for high energy use. This is especially true of proof-of-work (POW) coins, like bitcoin, which have received backlash from environmental groups like Greenpeace.
In addition, the arrival of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has brought a new wave of interest to the sector and more scrutiny.
As a result, projects, both new and old, are facing this issue head-on. Either through the kind the blockchain they’re using or by looking at how they can provide incentives to encourage improved environmental preservation.
One such project is World of Waves. WOW aims to help NGOs and other charitable organizations find their footing in the new crypto and blockchain worlds.
Starting with the sea
World of Waves started its life as an initiative to save the oceans. The $WOW token began as its first project. The token focused on garnering funds and support for ocean conservation specifically.
However, recently the project looked at its work and wanted to provide support for the bigger picture conservation projects as well.
“So this is where we step back and basically also zoomed out on our project and took a look and said okay. Maybe we should become more than just ocean conservation,” says Tot.
“It’s like a closed circle. So every problem is connected with each other. If you don’t have the infrastructure, children are suffering. If children are suffering, they’re not getting an education, therefore, they don’t understand what is going on in the world. They don’t see the way to change. They don’t see the problem with industrial fishing. So it’s all connected to each other.”
This is where their latest project comes into play. The team is building an NFT marketplace devoted explicitly to charities and NGOs.
“It the first charity-based NFT marketplace. This is what World of Waves is about building partnerships, reaching out into more NGOs,” explains Tot.
Through this platform, WOW aims to help NGOs leverage the power of crypto and NFTs to expand their fundraising and awareness campaigns.
“So this is the long-term goal, basically to make an impact.”
NGOs and crypto
For Tot, NGOs need to become aware and participate in crypto. He sees this as a new revenue stream for them and one that cannot be missed out on.
“This is where we are stepping in and opening this whole space to them. Saying, use this technology. We just need the allowance from the NGO to list them on our marketplace. We are taking all the work from them so they don’t necessarily need to create pieces because we have a net of 100 digital artists, which will create the art pieces for them,” he explains.
The sales from these NFTs will operate as transactions with the $WOW token. As such, a project that has listed artwork will receive the proceeds of their sales.
Changing the crypto narrative
However, Tot has seen how NGOs react to this new, often scam-filled space.
“You get basically mixed emotions like it’s hard for them firstly to believe that somebody has that goodwill to just come out because the way we are reaching out, it is sounding too good to be true. Once we step into a Zoom call or basically your email, chatting, and they go to our website, obviously it’s displayed that we are a cryptocurrency token.”
He explains that this is often a stopping point for NGOs who are wary of cryptocurrencies. However, those that are interested are often smaller projects who operate in the shadow of well-known, larger charities.
“We are mainly focusing on all the smaller ones, which are falling behind, they are not seen. All the big donations are mainly going to these big NGOs. When you take a closer look at the big NGOs, most of them are already accepting cryptocurrency as a way to donate to them. The smaller ones are falling behind.”
“We want to bring the smaller NGOs to support them on their way, not only through financial help and donations but also while growing our community, which wants to make an impact,” he says.
Proof-of-stake not proof-of-work
This is understandable as a project touting environmental concerns as its primary purpose can’t be contributing significantly to this issue.
“We left the potential open for us to upgrade and migrate over to different blockchains. So, if you take a look at Ethereum, yes, the gas fees are very high and also it has a very negative impact on the environment in general because it’s using a lot of energy.”
“But, Vitalik already stepped into that and said okay we need to come up with Etherium 2.0, which changed the whole system of proof-of-work, and proof-of-stake, so they’re also migrating, making themselves more sustainable. So marketplace finance is working on proof-of-stake, therefore not consuming as much energy, so it’s ethical and okay to operate there,” he says.
Improved user-experience as a long-term goal
Tot and his team are in their building phase. Much like other projects, they aim to improve their user experience and expand their audience.
This is especially crucial as having a genuine impact will require making it easier for people to participate properly. Alongside the marketplace, WOW wants to build its own wallet to streamline and avoid third parties.
“The user experience on PancakeSwap is very hard. It’s super hard to get into it. So because we are not wanting only people who are interested in making gains and making money, we also want to attract those who are donators like the classic basic donator. We need to make the user experience to be way easier than PancakeSwap. Therefore we have the wallet app as a goal,” he says.
By having this goal of a central, user-friendly wallet, they aim to start a movement that will grow and change the way people silo charity and investment.
“It’s not about us. It’s not about World of Waves. Rather it’s about NGOs in general, that they are spotlighted,” he says.
“It’s also proving to the world that investing doesn’t only need to have two winners. It doesn’t need to be the investor and the company, we can actually invest without hurting anybody, implement charity into that, and everybody’s happy it’s like win-win-win.”