The Carbon Blockchain, Inc. (TCB), a carbon finance and technology services startup, has bought South African hemp strains developer Minerva Green.
- TCB has acquired Minerva Green for an undisclosed sum.
- The deal is expected to drive the expansion of industrial hemp cultivation across Africa.
- The company is planning further activities in Africa through a joint venture with Serengeti Energy Holdings.
What does TCB do?
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, TCB is a carbon finance, carbon project development and technology services company established to produce high-integrity carbon credits through the use of industrial hemp. It plans to use a range of technologies including smart agriculture and edge-IoT systems to track decarbonisation, with blockchain technology used to support online payments and market access.
TCB intends to improve the accessibility of agricultural and trade finance, enabling small businesses to compete with larger firms. The startup is currently gathering its final seed investment as it prepares for a formal Series A funding round.
The company says that its blockchain-native supply chain management solution for the industrial carbon industry will be commercially available in late 2022. It claims that it will “leapfrog” existing solutions, as its technology can address the lack of tracking and tracing systems within the carbon industry’s supply chain.
When fully deployed, TCB’s product is expected to provide a complete supply-chain-as-a-service solution, including modules for manufacturing, marketplace matching, expanded analytics using machine learning and artificial intelligence, payment systems, investments, supply planning, and demand management.
President and chief executive Daniel Higbee said: “The iPaaS solution is still under development which will incorporate blockchain and IoT at the edge to capture the relevant data including soil conditions pre/post plant, biomass produced both wet and dry, weather conditions, water sources such as rain or irrigation etc. and of course what the biomass was used for to determine the longevity or retirement of each individual carbon credit we generate.”
TCB buys Minerva Green
Minerva Green is a South African agriculture group developing proprietary, indigenous African hemp strains. By acquiring the group, TCB aims to drive its expansion in Africa across three areas: nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration and replacement of traditional petroleum-based carbon inputs in plastics and rubber; production of green charcoal, and biochar for soil remediation and water retention; and blockchain technology producing high-quality, immutable carbon credits.
Mike Laws, founder of Minerva Green, commented, “We are excited to accelerate industrial hemp production and processing in South Africa by combining advanced technologies with regenerative farming. Our focus will be on socio economic upliftment and the inclusion of local genetics and plant cultivation expertise.”
Joint venture with Serengeti Energy Holdings
TCB has also entered into a joint venture with Serengeti Energy Holdings, a clean energy biomass and waste conversion firm based in New York City. The pair will focus on opportunities throughout Africa and biomass cultivation at scale, starting in Ghana.
Hamilton Caranda Martin, chief of Serengeti Energy Holdings, commented: “We are thrilled to partner with TCB and leverage their expertise in carbon finance and advanced carbon technologies to transform the industrial hemp agricultural value chain with high-capacity green bio energy processing and fiber facilities, in partnership with hemp-producing African nations. This will naturally impact the environment, food and nutrition security, job and wealth creation within Ghana and the African continent, while aiding in reducing environmental carbon and deforestation.”
Higbee added: “These acquisitions and partnerships demonstrate TCB’s commitment to driving positive change and sustainability in the global economy through carbon finance and carbon projects. The opportunities in Africa make TCB a category-defining leader in this important market. The expanded footprint in Africa provides the foundation for TCB’s ‘Project Gigaton’ launching in Q1′ 2023.”
TCB said that ‘Project Gigaton’ is an initiative intended to promote the cultivation of industrial hemp, kenaf, and jute as rotational crops in Africa. These will be used to create biochar onsite, which can reduce the water consumption of traditional agriculture methods. Its team, dubbed ‘The Carbon Protocol’, is participating in the XPRIZE competition, which is funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation and has a $100 million prize.