5 Biggest Struggles of a Greentech Saving The World

Merit Valdsalu
July 5, 2022

We often get asked, “Soo.. what have been the biggest struggles with Single.Earth?” and even though it is true -- there have been many roadblocks and bottlenecks -- we see them as interesting challenges rather than struggles.

We knew we would face challenges from day one because we’re bringing a vast paradigm shift and remodeling the economy by changing how nature is valued. 

These “struggles” push us to think further outside the box and innovate to change old ways with solutions that will work in real life. All to give everyone the possibility to contribute to halting climate change and biodiversity loss. 

Learn about the most significant challenges we’ve had at Single.Earth and how they help us in protecting nature across the globe.   

Why didn’t we use a solution already out there? 

Early on, we decided that Single.Earth will do things differently: we don't replicate what’s already on the market but instead solve a problem. 

Why? We saw that the destruction of nature has not been solved systematically. This shows there isn’t a systematic way on the market yet to solve the extensive destruction of nature.

In just 40 years - a little more than my lifetime - a forest area the size of Europe has been lost forever. If we continue at today’s pace, all of the world’s rainforests will be wiped off of this planet completely and irreversibly in less than 80 years - in one human generation. Children born today are likely to see that day - if the ecosystem as a whole has not collapsed by the time. Climate change and biodiversity loss are among the biggest threats to humankind’s survival on Earth. 

Change is imminent. Single.Earth will make this change happen and take individuals, landowners, and businesses along to protect nature.

Innovation is HARD, and our whole team needs to think outside the box

It required consistent effort for me and my co-founder Andrus to develop an innovative mindset because starting to think outside the box takes time. We’re glad we now have a team coming up with crazy innovative ideas too.

“Innovation in itself is hard as it requires a lot of brain power, but it’s also the most exciting part! Creating something that has never existed before is the coolest thing.” 

Getting your team into an innovative mindset: 

Step 1: Have the courage to get your mind out of the box. To come up with something new that’ll work in real life, you need to get your mind to a place where innovation happens and have the courage to think differently.

Step 2: Sync with your cofounder. That’s the constant challenge of startup founders: you have to work as a team to do bold things. We constantly calibrate the new innovative ideas with each other, so the two of us are always in the same mindset. 

Step 3: Get the whole team to switch gears to innovation. We’ve seen that when people join us, it takes them a couple of months to unlearn some old ways of thinking. The biggest one is understanding how nature is monetized, measured, and used, and how it affects how long Earth will stay habitable for humans. Then you can get everyone into an innovative mindset.

It has been and will continue to be a learning curve for the whole team, but it brings us closer. Innovation in itself demands a lot of brain power, but it’s also the most exciting part. Creating something that has never existed before is the coolest thing, and you need a strong team to do it. 

Bringing innovation to real life through validation

Once you have the idea, you must ensure it works in real life. An idea that doesn’t actually work is just that: an idea. 

“We can’t go completely science-fiction and create things that will not work in the real world. There must be a hook to reality that makes it doable.”

It all goes under the big umbrella of how you start innovating and coming up with solutions that haven’t existed before. How to start coming up with new ideas and making them work in the real world? 

I wouldn’t say making a solution work in real life is a struggle, but rather a fun challenge. But it is worth mentioning that this has been a large part of where we have focused our efforts. We can’t go completely science-fiction and create things that will not work in the real world. There must be a hook to reality that makes it doable.

When you come up with crazy ideas, you need validation to make sure they work in real life. The same goes for Single.Earth solution: MERIT tokens.

What has helped Single.Earth make great progress is our fantastic science team. They’ve taken the ideas and validated them: finding ways to implement the innovative solutions and figuring out practical ways to make them happen.

The most significant validation of what we do comes from the science team, which includes experienced senior scientists, researchers, and data scientists taking our ideas further and through that process also validating the way forward. 

Making a web3 solution easy to use for everyone 

We’re constantly thinking about how to make Single.Earth’s solution easy to use for everyone. Although we operate in the web3 space, we don’t expect our end users to be native in web3. 

Our goal is to make the experience so easy and seamless that our users don’t necessarily need to have any relevant skills in the web3 space. 

“Although we operate in the web3 space, we don't expect our end users to be native in it. They actually don’t need to have any particular skills in web3.”

Landowners will just receive financial rewards for keeping the natural resources intact. They don’t have to know about the underlying technology if they don’t want to. But they can! We have the possibility to have advanced use cases and our customer team is happy to help with everything. 

The same goes for buyers: they don’t have to (but can) go to external exchanges to be able to purchase MERIT tokens, and we’re also making it very easy through our platform. 

Finding a way to connect nature conservation and the financial market

It took a lot of time to understand how the economy, crypto, and nature conservation spaces work to figure out how to bring forward an innovative solution that protects nature globally. 

There are a lot of rules to follow when you want to add nature’s value to the financial markets and the financial ecosystem. It’s tricky binding nature protection and the financial market and making sure it’s compliant with the law. 

We’ve put a lot of work into ensuring everything we do complies with all financial regulations. We already have the virtual asset service provider license from Estonia. 

Again -- it hasn’t been a struggle in the sense we’ve been suffering, we haven’t. The whole process has just taken a lot of effort to become compliant will all financial requirements: from verification processes like KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundering) to all other crucial processes. 

Regulations and compliance rules are there for a reason, and we’ve done very well in adhering to what the compliance rules need us to do. The business and legal teams have worked hard. 

Innovating in the crypto space while crypto regulations are still developing 

It’s certainly an exciting time to develop the Single.Earth solution as the whole regulatory space is also still developing and constantly changing.

It’s not just sticking to rules already in place but a matter of keeping a constant eye on regulations and whether they’ve been updated. 

“It’s not like you enter a market that’s already fully developed. On the one side, we’re innovating the ecological value of nature, and on the other, we’re also in the middle of crypto regulations developing and becoming a reality.”

Both of these things -- the environment changing really fast and us having to be able to adapt to the changes -- are challenging. It’s not entering a market that has already been fully developed. On one side, we’re innovating the ecological value of nature. Conversely, we’re also in the middle of crypto regulations developing and becoming a reality.  

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As mentioned above, we don’t see any of these points as big struggles but rather interesting challenges to take on as a united team. Single.Earth’s North Star is and always will be “How will Nature benefit from it?” and through overcoming these challenges, we’ll enable more nature to be protected worldwide. 

That’s what it’s all about: nature.

Single.Earth is on a mission to help preserve and restore existing ecosystems.

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