In this interview with Veritree, we will delve into the Cardano Forest project and how blockchain technology can help reforestation initiatives.
During the Cardano Summit 2021 at the end of September, the Cardano Foundation has announced a partnership with Veritree for an ITO (Initial Tree Offering) that has the goal to plant 1 million trees.
This initiative sees also the involvement of the Climate Neutral Cardano community group of Stake Pools, some of which we also interviewed for the Cardano SPO Column, namely Stake for Nature [ST4NA], Bio Pool [BIO] and ECO Pool [ECO].
Interview with Veritree: Cardano Forest
Hi there, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. Please introduce Veritree to our readers.
Veritree brings value to planting organizations, businesses, and end-consumers who benefit from verified natural climate solutions and a consumer-centric positive impact program. We believe an inclusive approach is needed to create the enabling conditions to scale natural climate solutions, where all stakeholders are incentivized to contribute. Our stakeholders include planting organizations and corporate partners.
We work with planting organizations to verify their natural climate solutions. Veritree standardizes how data and evidence is collected, managed, uploaded, verified, and delivered to the right parties. This approach provides a verifiable and traceable procedure for producing high integrity carbon credits. Veritree is free of charge for planting organizations. This provides technology and metrics with a long-term engagement, training and support that is not subject to the pitfalls of non-profit funding cycles and project end dates.
We help corporate partners to become climate positive by embedding positive impacts associated with natural climate solutions in their products and services. Our consumer-centric approach enables our corporate partners to continue to grow their business while enabling their consumers to live sustainably as part of the net-zero transition.
Why have you chosen Cardano?
The energy consumption of Bitcoin has been the most discussed topic, next to the price. The Bitcoin blockchain and many other Proof of Work blockchains consume a tremendous amount of energy to process transactions. It was clear to us that we needed to use a Proof of Stake blockchain, the worst case scenario would’ve been if our system consumed more carbon to operate than we are able to offset.
We decided to work with Cardano because they have a large community, a provably secure Proof of Stake consensus, and they are a top 5 cryptocurrency by market cap. The Cardano Foundation made us aware that making the Cardano blockchain carbon neutral was an important goal for them. In this spirit, we prepared a campaign that would showcase Veritree’s monitoring technology and include the Cardano Community. The timing was great, as the Cardano Summit was coming up and they were just launching the smart contract functionality, using this as a platform to get the word out we announced the Global Impact Challenge at the summit.
A lot of things needed to line up to make this a successful campaign and prove out the fundraising model we created. We wouldn’t have been able to launch in time without the tremendous effort put forward by the Cardano Foundation and Veritree.
What problems do reforestation projects face today and how does blockchain technology solve them?
There are two major problems that we are directly solving, while also streamlining industry inefficiencies. Planting projects often occur in remote areas of countries, most of the time very far away from the financier.
Prior to deploying our technology, our sister company, Tentree, would bear the huge expense of sending people to the planting sites to verify that trees have been planted. However, even sending people to locations cannot stop the ability to double count the trees or impact created. While we can be sure that the proper number of trees have been planted and that they have not since been cut down, without a registry for ownership there is no way to be sure that two companies or individuals aren’t claiming ownership of the tree.
There is a joke in the reforestation industry that for every 1 million trees planted 100 million trees are claimed. This is a bit of an exaggeration but without a solution to mitigate the risk of double-counting the claims that trees have been planted, we cannot rely on this as a method to tackle climate change.
To solve this problem we are deploying a record of ownership (token) on the Cardano blockchain. This token represents one tree, and can only be held by one person in their wallet. The impact can only be claimed by the person holding the token.
Please walk us through how the ITO works and how users can interact with the trees they planted.
The ITO is a new fundraising model that we wanted to prove out. The campaign is predicated on community involvement, by distributing a token we are giving the community direct access to the information we receive from planting sites. After the token is distributed, we get to work and start planting.
After which we are going to open up a token swap, where we swap the Veritree Token for a donation record (NFTree) and the individual trees (in token form). Each tree is serialized to the planting session that it was created in. Granting the owner of that token access to the stream of data coming from that location.
During the redemption period is when we will issue the digital art and naming rights to the planting areas. The artists we are working with are the creators behind the Cardano Trees and Stellar Hoods projects, they are working on a unique series of NFT art to drop to who has over 500 Veritree tokens. While naming rights are for higher amounts, it is possible to pool redemptions into one name and claim multiple NFTs at a lower value.