Web money

South African company launches world’s first digital token for water projects

In what is believed to be a world first, South Africa-based network H2O Water listed the H2ON token on two exchanges on Thursday, aiming to unlock billions of dollars in funding for water projects around the world. world.

The token traded between $1.30 and $1.40 on Thursday, before settling at $1.14 on Friday morning. The tokens are listed on Bitmart and ApeSwap exchanges.

The project is the brainchild of Exchange Trust Settlement Services, led by private equity veteran Julius Steyn, and a team of investment bankers, as well as blockchain and water specialists.

Steyn previously participated in the re-engineering of water plants in Saudi Arabia, resulting in savings of $140 million in the first year.

He was also part of the team that set up Old Mutual Bank as well as online banking Twenty20, which was eventually sold to Standard Chartered.

“It was clear to me that water supply is one of the biggest global challenges we face in the future, and there are dozens of viable projects that lack funding. [and] business expertise and water to get them off the ground. That’s the niche we seek to fill,” says Steyn.

Lily:

Backed by verifiable projects

The launch of the H2ON token comes at a time of loss of confidence in the more speculative aspects of crypto investing.

What is different with the H2ON token is that it is backed by verifiable projects that are audited and monitored daily on the blockchain, so revenues and water volumes can be tracked in near real-time.

This should unlock new sources of financing for water infrastructure projects that typically depend on development finance institutions with long approval and repayment times.

The H2O Network plans to dramatically reduce the time to commission water projects, while making it easier and faster to secure financing, even for small projects.

The project is backed by Global Emerging Markets (GEM), an alternative investment firm with $3.4 billion worth of projects in 75 countries.

Steyn said that the H2ON token focuses on financing water projects internationally, and not so much on the technical engineering and construction of such projects. “Technical involvement in a project is only to the extent that it ensures that a water project meets strict environmental, social and governance requirements. [standards]is functional and meets our pricing and underwriting standards.

Lily:

Financing water projects is capital-intensive, complex and risky, especially in the context of the current climate warming scenario, Steyn adds, hence the need for a specialized financing mechanism backed by some of the world’s top water experts. water and trade.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than two billion people live in conditions of severe water scarcity. Research suggests that water scarcity is likely to affect more than half of the world’s population by 2030.

A study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that the global funding gap for water infrastructure could exceed $18 trillion by the end of 2030.

This is expected to pose a major risk to business and society in the future.

Projects

The water projects are managed by H2O Securities, a division of Exchange Trust Settlement Services. Projects are evaluated and analyzed by international experts and engineers, and Steyn says a pipeline of projects worth more than $200 million is currently being evaluated.

“It’s the first time there’s been a cryptocurrency designed to fund water,” Steyn says. “We want our token to be underwritten and rated by an internationally recognized rating agency so token holders know what they are buying.”

The token is built on the Binance Smart Chain, using smart contracts that monitor water volumes, quality, and production costs. The factory owner is compensated through the stablecoin USD Tether (USDT), which is backed by the US dollar, and transferred daily to a pre-funded digital wallet.