Watr blockchain targets ESG goals

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The Swiss registered Watr Foundation has launched a blockchain ecosystem to support ESG transparency in the energy and other sectors.

The technology, developed in partnership with blockchain infrastructure developer Algorand, is described as a next-generation KYC-AML (know your customer-anti money laundering) screened layer 1 open blockchain ecosystem with verified identities that will bring decentralised finance (DeFi) technology to commodities.

Its stated aim is to enable industries to achieve new levels of environmental, social and governance (ESG), and to democratise the financing, sustainability and transparency end-to-end in supply chains.

On the Watr blockchain, digital contracts will govern the pricing, trade and financing of the physical resources that society consumes, such as energy, metals and agriculture. Consumers should be able to define the specific footprint they want their consumption to finance. At the same time, suppliers will be able to create new classes of resources based on the environmental footprint their commodities leave behind.

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As such the ecosystem should create a transparent marketplace where customer choice determines the value of each sustainability attribute as it is turned into a commodity with a market-based price.

“With clear compliance guardrails and a pioneering cross-section of industries at the table, Watr’s mission is to drive financial inclusion, transparency and customer choice,” said Maryam Ayati, President of the Watr Foundation Council.

“We believe this next iteration on resource models should be co-created in mutually-owned profit models.”

The Watr ecosystem is reported as a first-of-its-kind, public and sovereign instance of the Algorand MainNet that aims to become the destination for sustainable commodities and applications across supply chains, shippers, buyers, financiers and producers.

It also is claimed as the first multi-institutional, self-governing, public blockchain designed to accommodate the privacy, auditability, compliance and finality requirements of commodities.

The Watr blockchain ecosystem is set to go live in early 2022 and will be set up to support and grow a broad decentralised application (dapp) network, including trade execution, exchanges, tokenised assets, new commodity classes and contracts, stablecoin issuance and DeFi lending capability.

A cross-industry coalition spanning consumer goods, mining, energy, agriculture, shipping, trading, blockchain giants and capital markets has been convened by ecosystem developer Neo to develop new blockchain business models for sustainable commodities and to trade on Watr.