A Carbon Negative Blockchain? It’s Here and it’s Celo.

Celo Foundation
May 26 · 5 min read

Blockchain technology doesn’t have to mean environmentally unfriendly. To the contrary, with thoughtful design and policy choices, it’s possible to merge the effectiveness of immutable, decentralized systems with environmental responsibility. This is Celo.

With ongoing conversations around sustainability, the environmental impact of blockchain technology and popular, but energy-intensive, cryptocurrencies, we’re pleased to share that Celo is a carbon negative blockchain. Very simply, the Celo network’s Proof-of-Stake (POS) consensus algorithm naturally requires a tiny fraction of the energy usage of Proof-of-Work (POW) algorithms as used by Bitcoin and Ethereum. And at capacity, the Celo network could process up to 7 million transactions per ton of CO2 emitted by its infrastructure.

Celo’s commitment to being environmentally friendly goes beyond being POS. It began in 2020 with the intention of becoming the first carbon neutral platform by contributing daily offsets through the network protocol, making the operational resources powering the Celo platform carbon-negative from the get-go. To date, Celo has offset 2,285 tons of carbon through its work with Project Wren, and expects additional funds already set aside by the protocol to offset a further 4,696 tons. That’s the equivalent of walking instead of driving over 17 million miles. It’s equal to the CO2 absorbed by 320,000 pine trees for a year. It’s enough to make Celo 8 times carbon negative based on Wren’s estimates for the footprint of the network as a whole.

While this is one more step toward mitigating climate change, there has been some incredible work focused on regenerative efforts happening across the Celo community over the last year. To further encourage the creation of natural assets on the Celo blockchain, starting with tokenized, high quality, voluntary carbon credit assets, including for in the Celo Reserve, there is an active RFP process underway. More details on the RFP can be found here. Carbon neutrality is just one component of Celo’s commitment to regenerative practices. In the weeks ahead we look forward to sharing more on our carbon status, regenerative projects currently being built on Celo, and our vision for tokenized natural capital and natural capital backed currencies on Celo.

There’s some exciting activity on the horizon, but before we go we wanted to share a few projects that are currently building on and/or working with Celo to create a more sustainable future for us all.

Loam

Loam was created to create incentives for farmers to transition to regenerative agriculture. The project helps farmers who are looking to plant cover crops for carbon sequestration, transition to organic farming, and change seeds from GMO to non-GMO to implement truly better climate changing practices that will produce better quality food and help mother earth’s soil health. For context, $80T of farmland exists globally, and we’ve lost 100M acres of farmable soil in the US due to losing carbon richness that used to exist in the soil.

Built on the Celo blockchain, using deep ag technology, and leveraging an extensive network of farmers and ranchers around the globe, Loam is creating a global marketplace, tokenizing incentives for behavior change with Loam tokens that will enable farmland, timber, pastures and all of nature’s assets to offset carbon, while promoting healthy foods, soils, clean water and air with a shared incentive. With a 5% global adoption rate, Loam can sequester over 1 billion tons of carbon per year (nearly 20% of all US emissions). Ahead of its public launch, Loam is looking to grow its early adopter base, both on the supply/farming and demand side.

MOSS

MOSS is working to preserve the Amazon by tokenizing credits carbon from Amazon afforestation, reforestation, and preservation projects, and selling those tokens on the retail market. MOSS’s mCO2 token not only allows people and companies to easily offset their greenhouse gas emissions, it also is a powerful primitive for DeFi protocols to natively offset emissions. One can imagine, for example, a wrapped asset that wraps a native token with an mCO2 token that offsets its carbon.

mCO2, which is built on Celo, has been live since August of 2020 and live on Celo specifically since April 2021. Over 1.3 million tonnes of carbon have been transacted through primary mCO2 purchases.

Regen Network

Regen Network is a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain focused on ecological data, assets, and agreements. Regen Ledger provides a decentralized business solution with two core capabilities: the tracking and analyzing of data about Earth’s ecology; and a DeFi solution for sustainability, including the issuance and management of carbon credits that give liquidity and auditability to the ecosystem services market.

Regen Ledger is an independent blockchain in the Cosmos family. Earlier this year, the Celo Foundation and Regen Network Development did a token swap. Together with the introduction of the Donut hardfork, bridging between the Cosmos ecosystem and the Celo blockchain is now possible. These two events make it easier for ecological assets from Regen to be used as primitives on Celo, as well as for ecologically sound stablecoins built on Celo to be used by the broader Cosmos community. This creates opportunities to develop a cross-chain marketplace and currency system in service to ecological outcomes.

Wren

Wren is a company that makes it easy to calculate and offset your carbon footprint by funding projects that plant trees, protect rainforests, or otherwise counterbalance the emissions from your life. Wren launched in 2019 on a mission to make it easy for anyone to take action on the climate crisis.

Since partnering last year, the Celo protocol has offset over 2,219.5 tons of CO2. Funding from the Celo Community Fund has helped a community of over 100,000 subsistence farmers plant trees on their land. The trees planted remove the CO2 that Celo’s blockchain emits. You can view Celo’s profile on Wren here, and even join them in offsetting CO2.

*Editors note

On May 27, 2021 Tokensoft’s Wrapped, announced Eco BTC (eBTC), the world’s first carbon-neutral, Bitcoin-backed asset. eBTC combines Bitcoin and MOSS.Earth Carbon Credits (MCO2) in a single digital asset available on the Celo blockchain through the Ubeswap application.

The Celo Reserve is not currently included in the calculation of Celo’s carbon status. As noted in the content of this blog, Celo is exploring options to extend our carbon negative status beyond the blockchain.

The Celo Blog

Celo is an open platform that makes financial tools…

The Celo Blog

Celo is an open platform that makes financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile phone. Visit celo.org for info on the community, contributors, and technology.

Celo Foundation

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A mission-driven foundation responsible for education, community engagement, and ecosystem support of the Celo platform.

The Celo Blog

Celo is an open platform that makes financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile phone. Visit celo.org for info on the community, contributors, and technology.

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