Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Home Decrypt News How to Fight Climate Change: Plant Trees, Harvest...Crypto?

How to Fight Climate Change: Plant Trees, Harvest…Crypto?

In brief

  • Creative community group Corcovado has launched CorcoCoin and the TREE token.
  • Users can pay to plant a tree and receive an NFT, with crypto rewards over time.
  • Coins can be sold at exchanges or used to purchase merchandise.

Now here’s an inventive idea for combating climate change: paying a small fee to plant a tree, tokenizing it into a non-fungible token (NFT), and then profiting by earning crypto as the tree reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) over the years ahead.

That’s the pitch for CorcoCoin, a new project from the creative community Corcovado in partnership with Telos, which provided both a grant and the blockchain infrastructure to host the TREE token.

Launched today, CorcoCoin lets you pay £10 (nearly $13) to have a tree planted in the real world. That tree will also be converted into a digital asset, specifically an NFT unique to that plant, complete with a photo and GPS location. Over time, the NFT holders earn CorcoCoin as their tree grows and sucks up CO2—potentially for up to 60 years, depending on the species of tree.

“Our nation’s money systems have become divorced from nature, causing climate annihilation,” said Corcovado founder Dave Erasmus, in a release. With CorcoCoin and the TREE token, we hope to restore that fundamental connection of trading goods and services amongst friends in our global village to create a regenerative relationship, not an extractive one.”

NFT holders will be able to gift their tokenized trees to other people, as well as trade the TREE tokens on exchanges. Corcovado’s website also sells various products, which can be purchased at a discount using TREE tokens.

Erasmus runs a YouTube channel on which he documents his nature excursions, with more than 61,000 subscribers to date. According to a release, the group has already planted more than 1,000 trees in Scotland and plans to plant “a variety of native species” via CorcoCoin.

“There is enormous potential to benefit the future of humanity and our planet through regenerative practices done today,” said Telos Chief Architect Douglas Horn. “But because the costs and work of these projects is in the present while the benefits are in the distant future, there’s little direct incentive for individuals to take the actions needed today. Everyone just hopes others will do the work.”

“Corcovado is building a way to move some of the rewards for these activities into the present or near future for those providing the funding or work now,” he continued. “This breaks the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ logjam and incentivizes action. At Telos, we’re thrilled to support the type of innovation that leads to a more sustainable future.”

   

While CorcoCoin seems well-intentioned, it’s certainly not the first green crypto project. Many others, including Bitcoin Green and SolarCoin, have aimed to create similar incentives for users to help push back against the negative perception around Bitcoin’s environmental impact, given the immense amount of energy needed to power the proof-of-work network (it’s now comparable to the power consumption of Colombia, says Digiconomist).

However, as Decrypt explored in 2019, some of the earlier eco-crypto projects have made seemingly very little impact, while others seem designed to primarily benefit the creators should they explode in demand.

Then again, even if this new project never fully takes off, at the very least you’ll have planted a tree.

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