Announcing rTrees

A virtuous donation dapp powered by DeFi that plants real trees using only the interest earned on the DAI in your wallet

Victor Rortvedt
Jan 14 · 5 min read

What if you could use your money to do something good for the world without having to spend it, lock it up or put it at risk?

rTrees allows you to do just that, powered by Ethereum and decentralized finance (DeFi) smart contracts.

It works by activating otherwise idle money — the USD-pegged stablecoin DAI — to generate interest from liquid lending pools (currently about 5.9%), and then donating the accrued interest to Trees for the Future, who use it to plant real trees. (Our friends at The Giving Block help with that final crypto -> charity step.)

For every 1 DAI of interest donated, 10 trees are planted. Users keep control of their DAI at all times and can stop donating at any time they wish.

A new DeFi donation model

This is a brand new way to support causes you value without the sting of seeing your account balance go down. It’s made possible by three permissionless money protocols built on Ethereum — DAI, liquid lending pools, and rDai, the protocol that puts the “r” in rTrees.

rDai allows users to not only earn interest on their DAI, but to redirect that interest to different Ethereum addresses, such as the one supporting rTrees donations.

DAI holders that use rTrees will see no decrease in their financial position, while Trees for the Future will receive real financial contributions that help them accomplish their mission. The experience can feel a bit like conjuring magic money but we assure you it is very real.

These money protocols feel like magic because they change the psychological calculus of supporting the causes you value, and open up a wide expanse of new terrain for innovative financial tools that can more closely align your money and your affinities. rTrees is a cutting-edge project, but it is only the beginning.

Try it out

rTrees is live on Ethereum mainnet at:

Come check it out! Here’s what you’ll see on the landing page:

We chose the word ‘activate’ deliberately , because you aren’t spending, locking or investing your DAI. You retain control of it, but instead of just sitting there doing nothing, rTrees energizes your money and puts it to work for a good cause. Who wants their money to be lazy anyway?

In web3, idle DAI is a venal sin.

At the current interest rate of about 5.9%, every 17 DAI that you activate will earn 1 DAI per year in interest, which plants 10 trees. The interest on 170 DAI would plant a whopping 100 trees each year!

Using the dapp

You’ll need a MetaMask wallet with some ETH and some DAI in it to use rTrees. Choose the level of DAI you wish to activate by clicking one of the buttons.

Next, the user interface will guide you through completing the necessary onchain transactions. You’ll need sign two transactions and pay gas to unlock and activate your DAI and begin donating the interest to rTrees.

There is a platform fee of 2% of the donated interest to support the development of rTrees. (Remember, you always keep 100% of your DAI.)

Once those transactions are confirmed (it should take between 30 and 60 seconds most of the time), congratulations! You are now donating interest earned on your DAI to grow real trees and you don’t need to lift a finger to keep contributing!

You can now visit your grove page to see how many trees you’ve grown with interest so far, and check your annual grow rate. Your virtual tree grows as it gets closer to completion. You can think of it like a DeFi-powered arboreal Tamagotchi.

You can also buy power-ups in your grove and give your tree growth rate a boost by activating additional DAI. Click one to see your impact branch out!


Once you’ve established your grove, tell the world how you are planting real trees for free through the magic of donating with DeFi. Click the “Share your grove” button and channel your inner Lorax — tweet for the trees!

To stop donating, click “Stop planting” under the power-ups and submit the transaction from the MetaMask popup. Once confirmed, you’ll then have idle DAI once again (but why?).

Activate power-ups to increase your tree planting capabilities

Alternatively, you could transfer your actively donating DAI (actually it’s rDAI, which you can monitor in MetaMask by adding the token to your watch list) to someone else, which will keep the trees growing until the recipient decides to stop.

We hope you dig it. If so, you can help support us on Gitcoin Grants, where even a single DAI donation can be matched and magnified (though January 21, 2020).

Contact us

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Hit us up on twitter @rTreesDapp or by dropping us an email at You can also learn more on our How it works page. The visual learners among you may wish to check out the rDai explorer, where you can watch the interest stream.

Great balls of programmable interest!

rTrees was made with Dappy — a web3 experience generator that we built to showcase this dapp. It’s comprised of tested visual interface components that guide users through a logical smart contract flow, and we plan to build more stuff with it — stay tuned!

rTrees was built by Patrick Gallagher, Patryk Adaś and Victor Rortvedt.


A virtuous donation dapp powered by DeFi that plants real trees using only the interest earned on the DAI in your wallet

Victor Rortvedt

Written by

Ethereum and web3 dapp developer interested in programmable interest — former lawyer — lover of lateral thinking puzzles. rDAI & Tribute & rTrees



A virtuous donation dapp powered by DeFi that plants real trees using only the interest earned on the DAI in your wallet

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