14 December 2022, London: Single.Earth, the greentech company offering the world’s first nature-backed currency, has partnered with Salv, the regtech company founded by Wise and Skype employees to combat financial crime. Salv provides customer screening and risk-scoring solutions to mitigate the risk of onboarding users and landowners whose background doesn’t align with the risk parameters.

With its nature-backed MERIT token, Single.Earth tackles the destruction of ecosystems that support life. So far, nature has been primarily monetised as a commodity — the ecological value of healthy ecosystems has been overlooked by the extractive economy, leading to the depletion of natural resources.

Using a three-pronged approach Single.Earth aims to make nature-positive decisions economically viable for all parties involved. The landowners earn a regular income, awarded one MERIT token for every 100kg of CO₂ captured by their mature biodiverse forests. Businesses can achieve ESG and sustainability goals through nature-positive contributions. The token buyers contribute to the protection of nature and, in the future, will be able to trade and use the currency in everyday transactions.

The Regtech Salv is an innovator in the compliance and financial crime-fighting space. With its origins in Transferwise (Wise), Salv has evolved to help financial institutions upgrade their ability to detect, track, analyse and block financial criminals. Under the partnership, Salv will screen persons against different sanctions, Politically Exposed Persons, and adverse media lists to mitigate the risk of landowners and token buyers being high-risk customers. Salv’s risk scoring solution provides Single.Earth with a holistic view of customers by better understanding their risk levels. These services add an extra layer of security to Single.Earth’s solutions and ensure that criminals can’t exploit the greentech’s business.

Merit Valdsalu, CEO and co-founder of Single.Earth, said: “At Single.Earth, we are building a foundation for a future nature-backed financial system, but unfortunately, dealing with fraud and financial crime is part of our daily life. Using our technology and satellite data, we can identify individuals who try to register lands without any mature forests or wetlands capable of removing CO₂ from the environment. However, we will rely on Salv and their industry knowledge to verify the legitimacy of funds and background for users and landowners onboarding our platform.

Taavi Tamkivi, the CEO and founder of Salv, said: “In recent years, the financial technology industry has seen explosive growth; however, innovation always goes in tandem with criminals trying to exploit it for their good. Financial crime, especially fraud, is rapidly growing, and the macroeconomic downturn offers criminals even more room to operate and experiment. We can help Single.Earth ensure there is no shady business behind the landowners and token-buyers, so the company can focus on what they do best — protecting nature.”

There is a clear link between climate change and financial crime: illegal logging contributes to deforestation; illicit wildlife trade is driven by financial gain and disrupts the balance of fragile ecosystems; illegal mining requires unlawful forest clearing and leaks harmful toxins into its surroundings. These environmental crimes have far-reaching impacts beyond the financial cost, including for the planet, public health and safety, human security, and social and economic development. The proceeds are often connected with other serious crimes, such as corruption, human and drug trafficking, child labour, and find a way into the mainstream financial system. According to Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organisation with an aim to develop policies to combat money laundering, environmental crimes generate up to $281 billion in illicit profits each year (according to Financial Action Task Force latest reports).