Everything you wanted to know about Flowertokens but were afraid to ask — Part 1: General Concept

3 min readJul 20, 2018

Flowertokens is an experimental project centered around the tokenization and verification of natural commodities, and a first attempt at creating a combined crypto-collectible physical asset.

Users are able to buy, trade, and speculate on tokenized Dahlias (Dahlia x Hortensis) via an online marketplace. The state of the individual tokens is automatically updated according to the different phases of their corresponding plant’s growth.

Flowertokens further marks the beginning of a series of projects oriented around these themes from terra0 — a group of developers and researchers involved in the planning and creation of hybrid ecosystems.

What is the idea behind it?

Given the rise of digital crypto-collectibles such as CryptoKitties, as well as the first working implementation of the ERC721 token standard, the next step was to test the possibilities of tokenizing physical, natural assets. Whilst projects like CryptoKitties provide working examples and reference projects for the tokenization of digital fungible assets, problems soon arise regarding the verification of the relation between intangible/digital and material/physical spaces when this logic is applied to physical assets:

What does a decentralized verification process look like in practice, when applied to physical assets? How can we ensure that the digital token stays truthfully linked to the changing condition(s) of such an asset? And finally, how can this nexus of information itself operate in a trustless manner?

Our Flowertokens project aims to make these issues raised more tangible. The characteristics of Flowertokens can best be described as a mixture of a crypto-collectible and a verified, constantly updated security; a new category of ‘live’ cryptotokens.

What does it look like?

Every plant is represented by and tied to an individual ERC721-standard Flowertoken held on the Ethereum mainnet. The physical installation consists of a grow rack, 100 Dahlias and a web interface which provides the current condition of the tokenized flowers. The setup is monitored 24/7 by a camera system which will provide images for the website, as well as data for a computer vision program which will update the tokens’ states once a day according to their respective flower’s condition.

Users can interact with the project via the website. As well as acting as a portal to the physical installation, the website doubles as a marketplace where users and visitors can sell or buy tokenized plants, as well as look at the plants’ ownership status, current value, species, age, size, and health.

Tokens are initially bought from us. Individuals are able to sell their tokens to others in the crypto-flower-collector community (if they wish), as well as purchase tokens from others, for the for the duration of the experiment.

What do I need to buy a Flowertoken?

A computer or laptop running the desktop version of Chrome or Firefox.

MetaMask, a browser extension and digital wallet used to interact with decentralized applications (dApps).

Ether, a cryptocurrency native to the Ethereum network, used to purchase Flowertokens.