NFT Steez chats with Celo’s NFT lead, Mashiat Mutmainnah, about the promise of ReFi and its capacity to promote environmental and social good.
In many countries, millions of people clack basic equitable access to the financial services that would allow them to meet their daily needs.
On this week’s episode of NFT Steez, hosts Alyssa Expósito and Ray Salmond meet with Mashiat Mutmainnah to discuss how regenerative finance (ReFi) can provide more accessibility and inclusivity to blockchain technology.
Mutmainnah explained that as a “mission-driven movement,” ReFi enables users to redefine their relationship with the current financial system and their relationship with finance and wealth.
What if there were newer models that could sustainably alleviate this? According to Mutmainnah, ReFi can redefine what money means and how it’s used.
What is the impact of ReFi?
Mutmainnah emphasized that ReFi intends to bring awareness to how the present financial systems operate in an “extractive” and “exploitative” manner. She also drew a comparison to fast fashion, explaining that what enables a user to purchase a shirt for $5 comes at the expense of a child laborer.
These “extractive” systems are no longer working for people, and a core tenet of ReFi is equitable accessibility and distribution.
Mutmainnah explained that often ReFi is seen as synonymous with climate, and while that is a pillar, ReFi has enabled “tangible and accessible use cases.” Users can “plug in” and participate in models and systems that can increase their overall prosperity and that of the ecosystem.
Therefore, ReFi can be considered a way of triangulating elements of sustainability via “stabilizing” the climate and “biodiversity,” while also keeping equitable access within global communities. This has the potential to create new financial models and systems that can increase prosperity.
As Mutmainnah put it:
“ReFi is helping folks change the way they relate to money.”
Can Web3 and NFTs be used for social and public good?
When asked whether nonfungible tokens (NFTs) could be used for the social and public good, Mutmainnah referenced a pilot program that involved a “loyalty NFT rewards program.” Akin to Starbucks’ latest NFT loyalty program, Mutmainnah explained how a similar scheme could yield positive and sustainable benefits.
For example, imagine purchasing an NFT that grants the holder one free coffee for 10 days. In these models, NFTs can yield more economically feasible benefits than buying the item, while also bringing more awareness to the good or service.
Contrary to the hype and speculation circulating NFTs in 2021, more creators and platforms are expanding and exploring practical use cases from peer-to-peer and peer-to-business initiatives.
However, that does not mean adoption always comes easy. According to Mutmainnah, there are many “infrastructure pieces” to explore beyond NFTs, including building out more dynamic products that enable this.
Mutmainnah explained that it’s a dance of sorts between “making a product frictionless” for seamless adoption and empowering the user to be an “advanced” user that takes full “ownership of their assets.”