From Eco-Business – our official media partner – writer Hannah Fernandez talks to our founder, Pete about how Wonderfruit is taking sustainability to the next level with cryptocurrency. She writes:

In a country famed for its lively island parties, Thailand’s annual sustainability festival Wonderfruit stands out for setting new standards of environmental and social consciousness for revellers. This December, the four-day arts and music event is taking sustainability to the next level by introducing cryptocurrency.

For the first time, the festival is going to pay their artists for their services using a digital currency that also supports the protection of mangrove forests in neighbouring Myanmar. Simply put, cryptocurrency is a digital currency which uses encryption techniques to regulate and verify fund transfers, rather than do this through a central bank or digital token. Some artists and collaborators at Wonderfuit will be paid through a cryptocurrency token called TREE coins. Each coin represents a mangrove tree in the Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park in Myanmar, which has already lost 75 per cent of its mangroves due to rampant deforestation.

Speaking to Eco-Business in a recent interview, Wonderfruit co-founder Pranitan “Pete” Phornprapha, shared that there are some artists who prefer to receive their fees in TREE coins instead of traditional currency. These mangroves play a key role as biodiversity nurseries, and they are able to sequester carbon dioxide more effectively than any other ecosystem. Despite their immense ecological importance, however, mangroves have been deforested to the brink of extinction globally, noted Phornprapha. Wonderfruit also wanted to raise the awareness of the concept of natural capital through the use of cryptocurrency. Natural capital is the economic value attributed to the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things.

Wonderfruit buys the TREE coins from a mobile application called Lykke Wallet, which is a trading platform that requires no fees, then sends them to its artists’ own Lykke Wallets. Artists can sell their TREE coins anytime, or decide to buy more. Phornprapha said each tree equates to just over US$1 on the Lykke Exchange, and its value is expected to increase further. Cryptocurrencies backed by natural capital have similar positive potential, and we are inviting our community to invest alongside Wonderfruit,” said Phornprapha. Phornphrapha also urged everyone to invest 1 per cent of their wealth in these vital ecosystems, saying carbon-neutrality was not enough, as only 0.3 per cent of global emissions are voluntarily offset annually.

The TREE coins will not be used just for paying artists.This year, participants can also purchase their own TREE coins with Lykke Wallet as their own way of contributing to the environment. The festival has also committed to continue an initiative it launched in February at their previous edition, in which every mangrove drink sold means one additional tree planted in Myanmar’s Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park.

A climate positive party

Apart from all its sustainability efforts, Wonderfuit is also aiming to plant 10,000 trees in order to ensure that its event in December will be climate positive or have net zero carbon emissions. The Wonderfruit organisers are serious about its mission, but they also want to remind their followers that the objective is to bring together people all over the world to see how living sustainably is possible, easy and above all, fun.

Held yearly in Pattaya, Thailand, Wonderfruit is fast gaining ground as a sustainability-conscious extravaganza centred around music, arts, wellness, and adventure. From 14 to 17 December, festival go-ers can also look forward to other initiatives such as the transformation of its farm into a venue for workshops on natural healthcare in Thailand. Called the FARMacy, it invites visitors to learn more about the benefits of tropical healthy greens and healing herbs.

It is also child-friendly as it has its designated zone for kids called Camp Wonder. Children dabble with arts and crafts; get active with physical activities like going through mudslides, bowling, and stand-up paddleboarding.

“I do think Wonderfruit can set an example and create a shift in mindsets by working with and encouraging our attendees and the companies we collaborate with (to be more environmentally-conscious). We can help set new trends in these areas (of sustainability) and make the trends more mainstream,” Phornprapha said.

Check out the original article, here on Eco-Business.