PLANT GANG is a decentralised community of researchers, academics and explorers documenting nature on chain.

Our mission is to create a new era for open academic research not limited by social, economical or geographic backgrounds while supporting local communities and environmental habitats through regenerative economies.

We’re building the herbarium of the metaverse, and today marks the day we set off on our first expedition.

Why now?

In these environmentally challenging times, we face a pivotal moment. Our rich living ecosystems are threatened and suffering; we must find ways to proactively reduce climate change and live harmoniously with nature, documenting the world around us and utilising the digital to preserve the physical in an safe, environmentally-friendly and untamperable format.

This is already beginning to happen; just last year we saw HM Treasury fund £15m for the digitisation of Kew gardens plant and fungi collections, now PLANT GANG is here to contribute to this digital revolution, it’s time to bring nature on chain.

The Big Picture; Building a virtual herbarium

We’re building the herbarium of the metaverse, a virtual space to view, research and collect plant species while protecting the habitats they exist in.

Conventionally, plant specimens are captured as physical 2D pressings and deposited in herbariums for storage, limiting access for the scientific community through location, institutional barriers and a lack of immersive detail.

Today we’re pleased to announce we’re starting our first steps to help reduce those problems, creating research that is globally accessible and complementing traditional documentation by adding details of morphology and colouration alongside scientific metadata like geolocation, habitat and conservation status to size, phenology and associated species.

The new research economy

Once established post expedition #1, PLANTGANG aims to build a global community to track, document and grow this research.

With an ethos to provide the tools, teaching and training for local researchers to model plants wherever they are in the world.

This gives the power back to those communities who understand their local environments and want to protect and live harmoniously with them, creating an alternative economy to environmentally damaging revenue streams.

Our new research economy is underpinned by NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and eventually a native governance token, designed to create a virtuous cycle where our scientific collections can be self-funding and bypass the need for institutional intermediaries.

The technology

To document Nature on chain, in our expedition #1 we’re using photogrammetry technology to produce our 3D models from image capture alone. Photogrammetry software aligns and combines many overlapping images to produce a 3D mesh of our specimen.

Here we add detailed textural data which crucially allows us to produce high quality model specimens in a non-invasive way.

Our 3D plant specimens will then be minted as NFTs on the Polygon network and be stored in our metaverse herbarium. This is key as the Polygon network’s low gas fees and energy consumption offers an environmentally conscious and scalable platform from which our collections can grow.

We’ve partnered with Polygon moving forward to try and continually bring nature on-chain in an environmentally net positive way.

The Team;

Harry AKA PlantBoi - Instigator and Research lead

Fave Plant: Corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum)

Steve - Technology Lead

Fave Plant: Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)

Mark Date - NFT lead

Fave plant: Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

Want to get in at the ground level of PLANT GANG? Drop us a DM on twitter.

We’ll be sharing more about the journey soon, and releasing the v1 of our ‘plant paper’ - We’d love you to join the PLANT GANG conversation. Follow us on socials, and apply to the community.

Discord growing April 2022.

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