EXCLUSIVE: Miché Torelli on ReFi, Decentralisation and the FTX Collapse
At NBX Berlin, we sat down with the climate champion and Web3 guru to discuss regenerative finance, DAOs and the fallout of the FTX saga.
“NFTs are bad for the environment” is one of the most common misconceptions of the industry.
Throughout 2022, several initiatives arose to tackle it. The Ethereum Merge reduced the emissions of the world’s most popular NFT chain, and various protocols sprung up to offer carbon offsets on blockchain activity.
At NBX Berlin 2022, I chatted to Miché Torelli, Head of Energy and Environment at Menthol Protocol, to discover what ReFi is, the incoming threat to Web3 decentralisation, and the ramifications of the ongoing FTX saga.
Zac: Hi Miché! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Miché: Hi! I’m the CEO and Founder of Senergy Tech Consulting, where we help develop and scale technologies in the energy and environment sector. I’m also the Head of Energy and Environment at Menthol Protocol, a multi-chain decentralised sustainability protocol that allows for carbon emissions to be offset automatically.
How are you finding NBX Berlin so far?
There’s so many different people here from so many different backgrounds; experts from all sorts of industries looking to explore the blockchain ecosystem. It’s very interesting to learn from people from all over the world, and it’s amazing what’s taking place here with the various booths, workshops and speaking events.
What’s been the highlight for you?
My personal highlight has been helping to bring more awareness to ReFi; sharing technical knowledge about regenerative finance from an engineering point of view, and discussing tangible climate and energy solutions with the wider community.
For those who don’t know, what is ReFi?
ReFi stands for regenerative finance. It deals with the question; “how do we create financial systems to incentivise helping the planet and its people at large?”, in short; how can we make a positive impact with mechanisms such as carbon offsets or social impact tokens?
You mentioned Menthol Protocol. Could you tell us a bit more about it?
Menthol Protocol aims to automatically offset carbon emissions from blockchain activity with verified renewable energy and carbon credits from around the world. We’re looking to support all major dApps, and allow developers and users alike to be climate-positive in a decentralized and automated way.
We’re preparing for our alpha launch right now, and are working with experts in the field for technical methodologies, plus curating token-providers and suppliers. Our aim is that even someone who might not fully understand carbon offsets can still offset their transactions by providing their wallet address.
We partnered with NBX by sponsoring the event, and we’re proud to be offsetting the emissions generated here as well.
How important are events like NBX Berlin for the industry?
NBX and events like it are super-important, especially during a bear market, as they allow people to keep collaborating and building. There’s a difference between talking together and building together, and people really need to be doing the latter and sharing their connections. Us humans, we’re social beings. It’s important for us to connect on a personal level and really get to know what other people are doing.
What are your thoughts on the FTX collapse, and the ramifications for the wider industry?
This is just my opinion, but I think at the end of the day there needs to be some level of regulation. In the Web3 community, we speak a lot about decentralization, right? Decentralization is key, but at the same time there needs to be some level of due diligence and regulation because if not, then it’ll be the Wild West.
Unfortunately, what happened with FTX has happened, so as long as it doesn’t inhibit innovation, I do think we need some level of regulation.
Putting carbon offsets in the hands of every blockchain user is one of many ways in which climate action has come to prominence in Web3 this year – and it’s people such as Miché that are helping to drive it forward, for the benefit of all of us.
Regarding the FTX collapse, many have mused that it will inevitably lead to regulation within the blockchain industry, not just in the US but across Europe too. For better or for worse, 2023 will surely have the answer.
To learn more about Menthol Protocol and Senergy Tech Consulting, visit their respective websites.