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Introducing... Hyphal Network!

Today’s essay features a new blockchain protocol working to ease access to and ledgering of data from ‘nature’ by a runner-up team from SNI’s Winter 2022 Hackathon Challenge… Enjoy! — SNI

The Mycelium network

Among the more significant problems of any agricultural, permaculture, or green belt project is keeping a consistent data record. Hyphal Network, a new blockchain protocol working to ease access to and ledgering of data from nature, provides a way to record any type of sample data and make it accessible to anyone. Such data would be collected over time in a central and immutable place, ensuring that it does not get lost, even when the land transfers ownership. This measure will assure that the data will withstand its integrity in any situation. Furthermore, it is possible to group data from different sources to study the effects that pollution or other metrics might have on surrounding areas.

As multiple samples can be taken over several time periods, land, plantation, or project development could be monitored. Thus, data collection would show an improvement or deterioration of a location over the long term.

Safe and connected

Creating a ledger for measurements on-chain and systems in place to verify the samples opens the door for a set movement. As the ledger grows over time, Hyphal Network will have a more extensive map of what needs to be done to heal ‘nature.’ Participating projects can build a living document, an evolving git book. Such a document would contain ready-to-go recipes for treating different conditions for the optimal long-term result for all parties inside the ecosystem, rather than short-term agricultural purposes. Furthermore, this platform could use artificial intelligence insights to match conditions with particular situations to suggest a previously working solution.

Hyphal Network plans to generate a structured map from the sample datasets linked to individual GPS coordinates to achieve their project goals. This map would generate an overview of the state of specific regions and/or countries and can be shared across social media platforms. The purpose of this map is to ensure that there will be existing communities to help analyze the data and restoration of a particular area, no matter the samples retrieved from nature.

Data samples could be linked with existing examples from similar areas or projects. Thus, participants could see the ‘history’ to assess options. Hyphal Network could then indicate the overall quality of the land. This assessment would contribute to the accuracy score of a particular region.

From the city to the forest

Hyphal Network’s sample data can be applied to rural and urban areas. This data can also be attached to tokens or NFTs linked to geolocations. These tokens would theoretically represent land, lakes, rivers, streams, gardens, parks, trees, and plants – which would ideally be owned by themselves (enter: Sovereign Nature Initiative). These tokens and NFTs would originate from any project or initiative and could, for example, express ownership or sovereign value. Attaching the sample data to tokenized nature enables it to remain available even when it changes ownership.

Sample data can contain information about land’s drought resistance, fertility, toxicity, permeability, coherence, and fire resistance – by measuring levels of alcohol and methane created by ‘bad’ bacteria. This data would add accurate and in-depth value to the already existing value of the token itself.

Rewarding community effort

To incentivize people to measure the state of ‘nature,’ Hyphal Network will feature an ‘open but optional’ mechanism to reward humans for collecting and verifying sample data. In theory, the incentivization of taking samples will be possible in any currency or coin available on the blockchain it is deployed on. As the code is open-source, people would be able to deploy it to other EVM compatible blockchains they may want to use for storing their samples as well.

SNI's hackathon and beyond

Hyphal Network’s initial mission was to create a protocol for soil sample data. During the Sovereign Nature Initiative’s Winter 2022 Hackathon Challenge, the team was inspired by the input from other hackathon participants and event organizers. After some internal conversations among the project team, Hyphal Network realized that the project’s scope could be expanded to facilitate more comprehensive samples and measurements. This would increase usability for all types of projects.

Furthermore, during the hackathon, Repke De Vries, a Nature Park Steward at the hackathon-inspired site De Ceuvel, pointed out the importance of raw data instead of interpreted data since interpreters always have biases. This discovery made the team realize that they should always store the raw data samples in pure form. However, since expertise is required for the correct interpretation of data, the Hyphal Network team also saw the value of sharing these interpretations individually. This realization resulted in a system where anyone with a unique perspective can create interpretations of data points. In this case, interpretations would consist of labeling ranges. Levels of data points would also be included to provide meaning.

The Hyphal Network team has learned valuable lessons from a range of engaging individuals and groups during SNI’s hackathon. From their perspective, this experience contributed significantly to evolving and shaping this idea into a meaningful and cooperative product. Hyphal’s software will remain open-source and will be used in further efforts to safeguard nature's data. Such software can be used by any individual or project who could benefit from it in their own quest.

The Hyphal Network team is happy to lend help and cooperate to achieve shared ideals together. Please reach out to them on Telegram.