Updated: May 3
When you think of Web3, what comes to mind? Cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, the Metaverse. How about sustainability and inclusivity? These topics are not always prioritized when discussing and exploring this space. However, there are many projects and communities with positive impact at the forefront of their mission, and Topl is certainly one of them.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Chris Georgen, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Topl, to learn more about this project, their mission to enable a sustainable, accessible, and inclusive new economy, and how they are getting there.
Around six years ago, as Chris ventured into international and sustainable development, he set out to identify initiatives that would boost the profitability and economic appeal of inclusive growth, better wages, supply chain transparency, and regenerative finance (ReFi), eventually leading to the birth of Topl.
Web3 making a positive impact
In Web3, you often hear about impact communities, and to simply break this down, we're talking about people coming together to do good for the world. Blockchain technology is facilitating these communities to coordinate and collaborate toward their common mission, whether building public goods or working towards reversing climate change.
One of the things that Topl looks at is how impact can be turned into quantifiable, tokenizable, monetizable units. While we often see these dynamics deployed in carbon, the same principles can be applied outside of the carbon landscape as well. This is why Topl is working with NGOs and social enterprises to tokenize non-carbon impact across a variety of projects, that include gender equity, public health, waste management, and biodiversity.
Rather than solely focusing on those already in this space, Topl wants to deliver value, purpose, and benefit to those not yet evangelized by helping them navigate problems while also offering solutions.
Over the years, Web3 has had to combat some perception problems. As it often is with media, it's the negative headlines that stick, whether they be about money stolen out of a crypto bridge or the CO2 emissions caused by Bitcoin mining. However, it's important that we flip that narrative to show the benefits of blockchain technology, such as transparency, interoperability, and its potential to help us create systems that are more transparent, inclusive, and efficient than their predecessors.
Topl is the world's first blockchain protocol designed to be an impact monetization engine. Let's break down what that means. Topl is working to make positive impact economically sustainable and economically profitable.
While Topl is more energy efficient than the earliest versions of blockchains, they are not alone. Blockchains have come a long way since they moved from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS). This means they no longer rely on mining or running big data centers, making them far more sustainable. As that side of the narrative isn't always widely publicized, it's important that we inform and educate people that the previous, less sustainable practices no longer represent today's engineering.
A major issue Topl aims to tackle is the economic centralization and concentration of wealth. Building a blockchain that is energy efficient was the easy part—making it more inclusive and with a better distribution of wealth is far trickier. To achieve this, Topl aims to empower those building a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Ultimately, its goal is to become the interoperable blockchain protocol that enables a new, more inclusive, connected, and sustainable economy through innovative web3 technology. Topl has also adopted ideas around quadratic voting and quadratic funding to weight decision-making based on the input of smaller individual contributors rather than larger, more influential entities.
Supply chains are one of the areas that illustrate the potential for inclusivity and the effectiveness of blockchain. The technology enhances transparency and ensures data integrity within supply chain information. For example, a large company may advertise its coffee as sustainable and fair-trade, but how can we, as consumers or retailers, confirm this claim? Topl has developed systems that enable individual farmers to certify and share data through the blockchain, allowing us to verify that our purchases support positive impact.
This approach is applicable across various industries. Topl has worked with numerous partners on projects ranging from sustainable coffee, Hibiscus tea, and nutmeg farming to conflict-free diamond mining. They even collaborated with a Texas-based company to track the supply chain of Covid-19 test kits using blockchain technology, monitoring temperature control throughout the process and ensuring the tests remained usable upon reaching consumers.
Topl is not only making this supply chain data immutable on the blockchain, but also extending who they're asking the questions to, including those on the ground doing the actual work, and getting away from large groups who have greater potential to misreport this information. Furthermore, Topl is making this data available via SMS, so a crypto wallet is no longer necessary to access this data. From the farmers to the conflict-free diamond miners, this traceability will help us work as individuals and communities toward a better future and help onboard more people to web3.
As a blockchain protocol, Topl is one of an extremely small number of chains built around a dual token model. The abilities to participate in block production (staking) and governance are gated by the TOPL, while transaction fees throughout the system are denominated and paid in LVLs (pronounced “levels”).
Topl has done its research and its LVLs are now one of the first-ever semi-stable coins that will be in existence. They believe blockchain operates like a country and that currency should be somewhat stable but have wiggle room, therefore, are reimagining how payments are handled in their network.
Growing a global impact community
By becoming the infrastructure for impact innovation, Topl aims to create a global community of diverse, motivated changemakers empowered with tools, knowledge, and resources to create lasting, positive-sum economic impact for a better world. They are building for and prioritizing groups that technologists often neglect. By selling the benefits of blockchain technology, Topl is helping to onboard more people to Web3 that will be contributing to positive impact.
We at CharmVerse have a soft spot in our hearts for impact communities, which is why we are showcasing Topl. We believe in their vision and support their mission to #buildgood. To learn more, follow Topl on Twitter or join their community on Discord.