Crypto Carbon: Can Blockchain Networks Fix Carbon Offsets?

A budding movement within the crypto industry says it can keep carbon out of the atmosphere by locking it on a blockchain. Can it succeed?

Cryptocurrency has become a boogeyman in conservation circles, but a growing corner of the industry is claiming to have a solution to the climate crisis: crypto carbon credits.

In the coming years, companies from Procter & Gamble (PG) to Nestlé (NSRGY) are vowing to go “carbon neutral,” a feel-good moniker signaling they will prevent as much carbon from entering the atmosphere elsewhere as they emit.

This article is part of Mining Week.

One of the ways these companies aim to achieve their emission goals is by purchasing carbon credits – certificates representing carbon dioxide that’s been kept out of the atmosphere by some act of conservation or removal.

While some point to carbon credits as a pragmatic solution to the planet’s climate woes, others say they make the problem worse – giving polluters free rein to emit more than they would otherwise.

Still, with leaf-green logos and websites emblazoned with pictures of the lush Amazon rainforest, a new cohort of crypto projects is embracing carbon credits.

Projects like Toucan, Regen and Moss say on-chain carbon credits will increase transparency and improve accessibility to the carbon credit market.

Another project, KlimaDAO, aims to bump up the price of carbon credits by tapping into a corner of crypto where memes are gospel, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is king and everyone is on the hunt for sky-high returns. Klima’s pseudonymous founders present Discord-dwelling degens with a question: What if you can save the environment by holding crypto?

From carbon industry veterans and environmental scientists to retail investors and accountants, a diverse group of voices has found its way into crypto’s regenerative finance, or ReFi, movement, with seemingly everyone evincing a different view as to how – and to what degree – crypto can be leveraged to solve the defining crisis of our time.

If the past few months are any indication, making progress might mean stepping on some toes.

From the cryptosphere to the atmosphere

Today, it’s hard to find a headline relating to crypto and the environment that doesn’t contain some reference to the extraordinary energy costs of the two largest blockchains, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Both chains use energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanisms to keep themselves secure, wherein a horde of computers around the globe compete to process transactions in a practice called “mining.”

Read this article on CoinDesk

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