Non-fungible tokens for trees

NFTrees: Tokenized trees offer crypto rewards when carbon is captured

Through the Telos-backed project, token holders could end up tracking their tree’s progress, and receiving rewards, for 60 years

Eco-friendly projects are branching out and heading to blockchains.

A new initiative allows investors to pay $13 to have a tree planted. A photo of the tree is then uploaded to the Telos blockchain, along with its GPS coordinates.

To sweeten the deal, the investor will receive crypto-based rewards as the tree grows and captures carbon—creating a financial incentive for clamping down on climate change.

The CorcoCoin team plants one of the first ever tokenized trees (Photo: Corcovado)

The Corcovado Project‘s CorcoCoin project makes use of non-fungible tokens to bring this concept to reality—and have clearly missed a trick by failing to call them NFTrees.

Corcovado cited research that says forest restoration is the best option for tackling climate change—with estimates suggesting it could cut carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 25%.

More than 1,000 trees have already been planted by the project—beginning in Scotland.

“Our nation’s money systems have become divorced from nature, causing climate annihilation,” Corcovado co-founder Dave Erasmus said. “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.”

Token holders could end up tracking their tree’s progress for 60 years.

A mahogany marketplace

Telos UK entered into a partnership with Corcovado to make CorcoCoins a reality, and as a result, its blockchain infrastructure has been used to bring the project to fruition.

Once an NFT has been created for a tree, the owner can gift them to others or trade them through exchanges. Those tokens gradually produce CorcoCoins worth one kilogram of carbon dioxide. These coins can be kept, traded, or exchanged, “depending upon partners and available services,” like carbon offsets, Corcovado’s website says.

“There is enormous potential to benefit the future of humanity and our planet through regenerative practices done today,” said Douglas Horn, Telos’ chief architect. “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.”

Corporate blockchain users have also started to experiment with using blockchain to track and confirm eco-friendly practices ranging from sustainable fishing to access to clean water. Unilever is even using it to track its efforts to create a deforestation-free supply chain.

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Connor Sephton is a journalist with an interest in cryptocurrencies, personal finance, and financial inclusion—as well as the challenges the crypto industry faces in achieving mainstream adoption. He owns cryptocurrencies.