A new partnership between IBM and carbon credits startup Veridium Labs Ltd will see carbon credits issued on the Stellar XLM blockchain, streamlining the trade of carbon offset credits in an open market.
The partnership, announced in a press release on May 15th, aims to create a new type of fungible digital asset that uses a formula created by Veridium in order to establish the value of each carbon credit token.
The ‘Verde’ tokens are designed to give enterprises that ‘pollute’ the environment a way to offset that damage by supporting a patch of Indonesian rainforest. While carbon credits in their own right are not new, the process of tracking the full extent of one’s pollution, then providing assurance that the money was actually used to replenish the environment is both time-consuming and opaque.
The most obvious application of distributed ledger technology may be as a method of storing and transferring monetary value, but the use cases of the blockchain extend far beyond cryptocurrency, allowing for the transfer and management of virtually any kind of value.
Todd Lemons, the CEO & Co-Founder of Veridium, commented on the importance of streamlining the carbon credit tracking and trading process,
“For years, we’ve been trying to mitigate environmental impacts at every point in the value chain, however previous solutions still presented significant complexities and costs. Our work with IBM is the first step in dramatically simplifying the accounting and offsetting processes, and therefore ultimately helping reduce costs”
IBM’s newly appointed blockchain offering manager, Jared Klee, believes a vibrant market could eventually be opened up to a much larger audience.
Klee, who was put in charge of IBM’s token initiatives earlier this year says,
“We’re creating a fungible digital asset, a token which part of the goal is to create a market where people can buy, sell, trade and then redeem it for the underlying credits. By having a liquid market you open up a world of possibilities.”
To give an idea of the possible size of a tokenized carbon credits market, a recent survey of just 139 companies by the Ecosystem Marketplace found that 63.4 million tons of carbon dioxide resulted in a total market value of $191.3 million in carbon credits.