There is no doubt about it- the world is moving swiftly towards a token driven economy where all assets, from stocks to real estate and even fine art will be represented by crypto-tokens and traded over a blockchain. This has the potential to release incredible amounts of value, a statement put forward by IBM which is hoping to create the perfect platform for trading these tokens. But before they direct all of their attention towards assets, they are focussing on a plan to digitise something that will benefit the environment.
Carbon offset credits
Across the world, various governments are using carbon offset credits to pay for the carbon dioxide that they emit. These credits are purchased and then traded and the money from the investment is pumped back into reducing emissions in another way such as renewable energy production. Some of these credits lose their value over time and the task of purchasing a high-quality credit can be a very complicated and time-consuming process. The solution to this problem could lie in blockchain technology and it is hoped that by harnessing it, a more liquid and transparent marketplace could be created.
IBM has teamed up with the Veridium Foundation in an effort to tokenise these carbon offset credits on the Stellar blockchain. The token, which is due to launch a little later in 2018 will be backed by a range of carbon assets that have been verified by third parties. A percentage of these credits will come from the sister company of Veridium, InfiniteEARTH which has already established a business that sells carbon credits to companies that want to offset their carbon footprint.
Pressure from shareholders
The business involved in technology, finance, and fossil-fuels are under more and more pressure from their shareholders to address their impact on the environment and this is a driving force for turning the voluntary carbon credit market into a billion-dollar business. The team at Veridium are sure that they can make the industry more valuable and more efficient as the token will be capable of automatically calculating how many tokens a company needs to buy in order to offset the footprint of any given product. To do this work manually would be incredibly time consuming and expensive, something that discourages possible investors. This new token should make things a lot more straightforward.
By teaming up with IBM, Veridium is able to avail themselves of their expertise in the area of industry-specific blockchains, particularly those in the energy sector. These new systems are able to automatically enforce business rules that are completely unique to transactions between oil and gas companies.
With Veridium’s token, IBM has identified an opportunity to combine its various networks with Stellar’s blockchain to create a situation where a complex asset class can be combined with other types of transactions.