Project BeeVi, a rather unusual but undoubtedly noteworthy initiative, has officially ended its life. Toilets that turned feces into energy and rewarded their “depositors” with digital currency will no longer be funded.
Government funding source cut off
A South Korean company called Science Walden, headed by Professor Cho Jae-Weon, has officially ended its operations. This took place back in February of this year, according to the creator:
“My project, Science Walden, unfortunately came to an end in February of this year, with FSM and BeeVi. I think they [those in power – editor’s attribution] thought they had supported it enough and believed that Science Walden should stand on its own feet to be independent.”
The project’s premise was particularly ambitious and attracted great media attention around the world. Their mainstay was the BeeVi toilets, which aimed to extract methane from users’ feces. The system rewarded individuals who chose to leave the valuable resource. They received Ggool tokens in return. Ggool is a transliteration of the Korean word for honey. The token itself, in turn, was additionally linked to another token called Feces Standard Money (FSM).
An initiative for social good
Cho Jae-Weonn asserted that his initiative was driven by a higher good that would bring value to society. Unfortunately, it was not given a chance, causing the project to be suspended. In his own words:
“We are asking people to value products, goods, services and even works of art only in Ggool, without thinking of its value in Korean won and US dollars. It’s a new way of seeing value in different ways.”
The Ggool tokenomy itself was designed in a very unusual way. It had a negative interest rate of 7%. In addition, 30% of the funds earned were distributed to other holders. Cho’s rationale for this aspect is very simple:
“It is a form of currency that does not support the accumulation of wealth, but is constantly in circulation and in constant use.”
Professor Cho has repeatedly pointed out that the technology he has implemented could support metropolitan cities, where the amount of excrement is very high. It could, in his opinion, be used for something useful. However, he notes the significant differences between his project and any others, and said:
“Given that my project has a different spirit and philosophy than existing currencies I think no one cares about it.”
Although government funding for BeeVi has been closed, for research purposes, one of the innovative toilets is still in operation. It is located on the campus of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology. Cho believes it will become an inspiration for future generations.