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Earth Credits - PlanetWatch

From real-world data sales to Planets distribution – closing the loop!

From real-world data sales to Planets distribution – closing the loop!

Earth Credits - PlanetWatch

Following our recent funding round, we are now better empowered to pursue our most important goal for 2023: demonstrating scalable data sales

The success of our project rests on the possibility to build and sell products and services using the data generated by sensors connected to our network. 

As stipulated in the White Paper, revenues from access to PlanetWatch datasets are going to be distributed in Planets as follows:

  • 40% to owners of sensors which generated the sold data
  • 40% added to the relevant recycle bins
  • 20% to PlanetWatch

It is now time to describe in detail the process of linking sales of access to PlanetWatch datasets with the distribution of revenues in Planets!

API data access 

Last year we announced the release of the PlanetWatch API tool. This was a big milestone because…

Anyone wishing to use PlanetWatch data for commercial applications is required to purchase API-based access to them. Proceeds from these sales will be redistributed as stipulated in the White Paper. 

Pricing is based on the amount of data being retrieved. The smallest billable piece of data is called a stream. One stream typically contains a complete set of readings from a sensor at a given time.

For example, a Type 1 standard stream contains temperature, humidity, CO, NO2, O3, PM2.5, PM10 values as measured by a single device at a specific time, i.e., 

          “date”: “2023-01-01T00:00:00.000Z”,
          “co2”: 1,
          “no2”: 2,
          “o3”: 3,
          “pm10”: 10,
          “pm2_5”: 25,
          “temperature”: 10,
          “humidity”: 80

Buying API data access

But how does one buy access to streams? Enter the White Paper, where Earth Credits are introduced. So far, we never discussed their role. Now, the time has come to explain their utility, since they are instrumental in managing stream sales in an efficient and transparent way. 

To retrieve PlanetWatch streams via the API, you need to spend Earth Credits. 

So, in order to use PlanetWatch data in your application, you need a sufficient amount of Earth Credits. They will be issued as Algorand Standard Assets (i.e. blockchain tokens, same as our well-known Planets, PW:Credits and PW:Forest) and will be purchased on-chain with payment in Planets or in stablecoins such as USDC. Those paying in Planets will enjoy a more favorable pricing. The reason why stablecoin payments will also be allowed is that we believe this will facilitate fast adoption. 

By sending Planets or USDC to a smart contract, you get back Earth Credits in your wallet. When you retrieve data streams, Earth Credits are debited from your wallet. 

Please note that:   

Although some Earth Credits will be paid in stablecoins, those funds are going to be converted into Planets for revenue distribution, so both Planets-based and USDC-based Earth Credits sales will create market demand for Planets.

Unused Earth Credits will expire at the end of the month of purchase. So, those who need PlanetWatch data streams must hold enough Earth Credits and use them to retrieve the needed streams before the end of the month of purchase. 

The final pricing scheme for Earth Credits will not be the same as currently stated in the White Paper. We will follow a more sophisticated scheme, which will include volume discounts, so If you buy e.g. a 100,000 Earth Credits pack, the price per credit will be cheaper than if you buy several lots of 10,000 Earth Credits. However, if you don’t use all purchased credits before the end of the month of purchase, leftover Earth Credits are lost. 

Distribution of Earth Credits sales proceeds

Every month, we will: 

  • Check the total revenue from Earth Credits sales (USDC revenues are first converted into Planets). This creates a monthly redistribution budget;
  • Check the number of Earth Credits which were spent to retrieve streams via API calls;
  • Identify which sensors had their streams sold, and how many streams were bought per each sensor. 

Then the redistribution can take place – the budget is allocated as per White Paper rules (20% to PlanetWatch, 40% to recycle bins, 40% to owners of sensors which generated the sold data). 

The budget fraction for sensor owners is split across them based on the number of streams bought from each sensor. For example, those who had five streams bought will receive five times more than those who had a single stream bought, and so on. 

Initially, this process will require some supervision from PlanetWatch. Eventually, we plan to automate all steps and make them Web3 compliant.


Please note that all figures in this example are for illustration purposes only. 

Let’s suppose that during the month of June 2023, 100M Earth Credits are sold, generating a revenue of 10,000,000 Planets plus 50,000 USDC. After conversion at the prevailing market rate, 50,000 USDC yield 10,000,000 Planets, resulting in a 20M Planets redistribution budget. 

By the end of the month, it turns out that only 90M Earth Credits were actually used to retrieve streams, i.e. 10M Earth Credits were wasted. The 20M Planets redistribution budget is then split as follows:

  • 4M Planets are allocated to PlanetWatch
  • 8M Planets go to the recycle bins (the split across different bins will depend on which types of sensors had their streams bought); 
  • and the remaining 8M Planets are allocated to owners of sensors which had their streams bought.

Now, suppose that the 90M Earth Credits were used to buy streams from a set of 100 sensors owned by 100 different individuals, and that the same number of streams were bought for each of them. Each sensor is then entitled to 1% of the 8M Planets (to be distributed amongst the owners of the sensors which generated the sold data). So each one of those owners receives 80,000 Planets in respect of June 2023 data sales.  

Based on the figures from the example above, one could work out the average revenue per used Earth Credit in June – the ratio between the 20M Planets redistribution budget and the 90M Earth Credits that were used – yields 0.222 Planets. This value can clearly fluctuate on a month by month basis as it is affected by several factors:

  • The Earth Credit price list, which may be adjusted over time;
  • The percentage of purchased Earth Credits which are wasted in a month. The larger the waste, the higher the average revenue per used Credit;
  • The Planets/USDC exchange rate.

Who will buy Earth Credits and why?

There is a very large number of potential use cases for our data and some of them are already generating sales – we will disclose more details soon. For the time being, let us exemplify how real-world business sales are linked to the Planets redistribution process described above. 

Suppose that one of the buyers of Earth Credits in the example above is a consulting firm leveraging PlanetWatch’s data to create an advanced air quality monitoring dashboard for a city, which will then be sold to the Mayor’s office. The consulting firm should proceed as follows:

  • Estimate how many streams per month they will need in order to inject PlanetWatch data into their dashboard;
  • Work out the cost to purchase the Earth Credits they need, via a monthly subscription scheme;
  • Design their commercial offer for the Mayor’s office; 
  • Test their product, double-check their Earth Credits requirements and set up recurring credits purchases;
  • Sell!

PlanetWatch will assist whenever needed. 

The consulting firm is free to set their own pricing, payment terms, etc. By buying PlanetWatch streams via the Earth Credits system, they have purchased the right to use the data in their commercial product, which they are free to design as they see fit, subject to the PlanetWatch’s API terms of use (to be published). 


  • Anyone can purchase API-based access to PlanetWatch data. The proceeds will be distributed in Planets as stipulated in the White Paper. The purchase process will eventually be managed via a smart contract, which makes it decentralized in the spirit of Web3;
  • Data streams paid via Earth Credits can be used to build and sell a wide range of products and apps leveraging PlanetWatch data, subject to our terms and conditions. 

Our business model is seamlessly scalable, as it empowers both global and local partners, worldwide, to build innovative data services or add value to existing products. No need for PlanetWatch to open branches in all countries in the world – in most cases our partners will deal directly with their own local governments, businesses, etc, and set pricing as they see fit. 

At the same time, PlanetWatch will provide technical help and support, including turnkey solutions, to those end users and business partners which don’t want to get involved with the technical aspects of the process. 

To better understand PlanetWatch’s business model:

Diagram Earth Credits - PlanetWatch