How to Save Our Planet with a "Trillion Tree Token"(TTT)

Image by jplenio from Pixabay

The earth used to have 6 trillion trees, now it’s down to 3 trillion. In a recent scientific research in Science, it’s estimated that if we could just increase our trees in the form of forests by 25%, significant progress can be made towards curbing the carbon emission threats.

In 2007 a German boy Felix called for world children to plant 1 million trees, it was done by 2010, and now Felix and his Plant-for-a-Planet is aiming at 1 trillion trees planted, along with other organizations sharing the same concerns. That’s above the 25% mark we’ll need to ease our carbon output.

The question is: can we get to the 1 trillion tree soon enough? That is, before disastrous global warming effects start to happen and all is too late?

The most powerful force of human being is that of economics. In the film Social Dilemma, we can see how the profit incentives can create such a powerful force behind all the major tech companies that drive and change human behaviors. What if financial incentives and economics play to the favorite towards a trillion tree?

That is, if planting trees can become a “profitable”, even “cool” business, wouldn’t that help to make all things faster and easier?

There also have been efforts in this front, namely, to require carbon producers to purchase “carbon rights” for their emission, from others that have made efforts in reducing carbon footprint. This is called “emissions trading scheme” (ETS) and it may be a growing market as more governments and regulations are involved.

Emission trading may not be the only approach to make planting trees profitable, the ecological, industrial, and recreational values forests can produce, may also make properly managed forestry a great business to invest. The main question then become: how can we get more people involved in making “tree planting” a growing business?

Specifically, how can we make “investing” in “tree planting” an easy and profitable business, so that global citizens and social investors worldwide can all participate, from the ease of their mobile phone and finger tip?

This is where the “blockchain” technology and its ability to “tokenize” assets comes in.

Simply put, “blockchain” allows an entity to create certain amount of “tokens” that represent “values” that can be stored and traded. Famous examples are the cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or the stable coins such as USDT. However, many other types of assets can be “tokenized” and represented in the forms of “tokens”.

So how about a “Trillion Tree Token”? for the purpose to faster the speed towards a trillion more trees on earth?

The basic mechanism and business model would work like this:

1. Any person who knows how to use a crypto wallet can use Bitcoin or other cryptos (such as USDT) to purchase the Trillion Tree Token (TTT) at its current Net Asset Value (NAV) that starts at US$100 per token. The crypto assets provided are placed into an “Asset Pool”.

2. A “Social Enterprise” that plants or manages trees may apply for investment at the “TTT Exchange Platform”, essentially with a proposal on how much investment is needed, what’s the expected RoI, and how will the valuation of assets (trees grown or managed) be determined and audited.

3. Sub-tokens will be issued on behalf for the “Social Enterprise”, as a “TTT-projectX” token, where projectX stands for specific tree planting projects.

4. The projects may be given investments/funding based on voting from the TTT holders, to determine how much each project shall receive from the TTT Asset Pool. This acts as if the TTT Platform is buying sub-tokens to provide funding for individual tree-planting projects.

5. It’s the responsibility of each project to periodically update an audited version of their current asset worth, so that a Net Asset Value (NAV) can be calculated for individual TTT sub-tokens. Asset values are created by planting or managing trees that can have market valuations for industrial, recreational, or carbon-trading uses.

6. The NAV of the TTT is a combination of all the sub-tokens the TTT Platform holds and may fluctuate up or down based on the values of the total underlying assets.

7. Each project has to maintain 10% worth of its circulated tokens as a “Reserve Pool” so that these sub-tokens can be exchanged to stable coins such as USDT at any time automatically.

8. At any time, investors can either 1) buy TTT token directly at the TTT Platform, to invest in a portfolio of projects represented by the sub-tokens (similar to an index fund); or 2) buy/swap TTT sub-tokens directly with mainstream cryptos such as BTC/USDT on decentralized exchanges (DEFI).

9. Profits (defined as NAV above the issue price of US$100) of the TTT Asset Pool are moved to a “Dividend Pool” by creating additional TTT at regular intervals (ex. monthly). The Dividend Pool pays regular dividends to all TTT holders with a pre-defined policy (for example, 80% to investors, 13% to the Platform, and 7% as donation to social organizations).

The above model will allow:

  1. social enterprises to seek international funding faster, easier, and with more transparency.
  2. social investors to help plant more trees while earning a reasonable return on investment (RoI).
  3. tree planting and/or management be supported as an economic activity, producing both economic and social values.

This is still an early stage concept proposal, but if you believe there’s any merits to this idea, feel free to contact us and drop us a line! We’ll be interested to hear from any investors/partners on how we could make tree planting via social enterprises a reality!

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Shun-Yun Hu

Shun-Yun Hu

Founder of Joint Commonwealth Inc. (JCF), Co-founder of Imonology Inc. Someone who enjoys to observe, to think, and to create…

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