Use cases for individuals
Aartum can be used by individuals for:
- Voluntary social or environmental contribution
- Investment in an asset-based currency
Voluntary SDG or environmental contributionBecause a unit of Aartum represents a unique, completed and verified SDG-related outcome, Aartum can be collected by individuals or entities as a form of voluntary SDG or environmental contribution. A special transaction type (the retirement transaction) will allow a unit of Aartum to be retired (permanently taken out of circulation). The retirement transaction preserves a record of the person responsible for the retirement (if the user chooses so) and the details of the unit (SDG goal, unit of measure, number of units, reference to issuance transaction). In such a way a user can build up a portfolio of the outcomes which they are responsible for (as the retiree is the end of the causal chain, it it the retiree who is ultimately responsible for the outcome). Retirement transactions are publicly visible (although the retiree can determine how much information will be shared) and may be incorporated into social media through an API or special retirement registry browser. This will serve individuals, businesses or other entities who want to communicate their environmental or social impact to the public in a specific, permanent and verifiable way.
OffsettingAartum also offers individuals and businesses the opportunity not only for voluntary contribution but also for offsetting. Offsetting differs from voluntary contribution because in the case of offsetting, two outcomes are compared namely an (negative) outcome related to the actions of the offsetting party (like the greenhouse gas emissions of an individual or business) and a comparable (positive) outcome meant to counterbalance the negative outcome (like a greenhouse gas emission reduction or sink). Offsetting means demonstrating that a specific negative outcome has been compensated for by another comparable beneficial outcome of a similar or larger magnitude resulting from an activity that has been specifically undertaken for the sake of the beneficial outcome. It is important to show that the owner of the negative outcome and the owner of the positive outcome is the same.
Asset-based currencyEvery unit of Aartum is associated with a specific number of outcomes in a unit of measure related to one of the SDGs but also has a face value (in units of ART). The face value will be allocated at issuance reflecting the weighted desirability of the unit, given its properties, at the time of issuance. This means that users will also be able to use Aartum as a general currency in the same way as other cryptocurrencies. Although Aartum necessarily has a UTXO architecture, we envision that the Aartum wallet will give an account-like feel if the user prefers it. The wallet will also include a mixing mechanism to mix or join UTXOs in larger units and improve anonymity.
A central problem to be solved for Aartum to be used as a general means of exchange is how to determine the relationship between the specific SDG-related units of measure (such as tonne CO-2- equivalent for Goal 13) and the face value (in ART) assigned to that outcome at issuance. The relationship between face value and the true underlying value (purchasing power) of any currency is a dynamic phenomenon, e.g. inflation means that although the face value of money does not change, its underlying purchasing power decreases over time. The value of a token of an SDG-related outcome will change with the community of users' perception of the value of that outcome, their anticipation that other people will value it in future and their trust in the uniqueness, certainty and accuracy of its representation of the outcome it claims to represent.
The relationship between the face value (ART) of an Aartum token and the specific SDG-related units of measure are similar to the relationship between the face value of a stamp and its value to a collector. In normal usage (i.e. for posting a letter), the value of a stamp is its face value but a certain stamp may be worth much more to a collector due to some specific property of that stamp (e.g. its scarcity or being part of a batch with a rare printing mistake).
When Aartum is issued the token will contain details of the provenance, the verification process and a quantification of the SDG-related outcomes achieved in the appropriate unit of measure. In addition to this it will have a face value in units of ART. That face value will be calculated from the mean of the recent transactions for comparable outcomes.
Consider the following example: There is a marked preference in the market for voluntary greenhouse gas emission reductions (VERs) from specific project types and areas of origin. Such VERs routinely fetch higher prices compared to other project types or areas of origin. With a transaction history of trades of VERs of different types, it is possible to predict the price that a specific VER is likely to fetch based on its proporties. Aartum will provide a platform where offers and bids for specific tokens (i.e. specific goal, activity type, methodology, units of measure, areas of origin or level of verification) can be made and executed. An offer would be when the owner of a specific token offers the token for sale for a specific fraction or, more likely, a multiple of its face value. When a bid is made and a trade takes place, this data will serve as evidence that the community values a specific set of properties more. When a new issuance taken place, the face value of the new issuance would be such that it would not sell immediately at a markup or discount - i.e. based on the history of trades, the prediction model would attempt to allocate the correct face value to the token.