IBM, Veridium Labs Join Forces to Turn Carbon Credits Into Blockchain-Based Tokens

  • IBM announced a partnership with Veridium Labs to develop a digital token
  • The token will essentially see carbon credits enter a blockchain.

It's been announced this week that International Business Machines (IBM) partnered with Veridim Labs, a startup creating environment-related cryptos, to help the environment by turning carbon credits into blockchain-based tokens. Carbon credits - tradeable instruments created to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions – will be tradeable for the okens via exchanges.

The project was announced by IBM's Senior Vice President of Industry Platforms and Blockchain development, Bridget Van Kralingen, during the Consensus Conference this week in New York.

According to Jared Klee, a manager in charge of blockchain-based projects at a New York-based IBM branch, the project is intended to raise greater awareness on companies’ carbon emissions.

The new cryptocurrency is poised “to make it easier and cheaper for companies and individuals to account for their footprint and neutralize the impact they have on the environment.” Its tokens will be issued and managed via the Stellar network.

Kralingen stated:

“This is a great example of how industries are being reinvented by blockchain [technology], in this case establishing a far more efficient and transparent approach to carbon accounting and offsetting that will empower individuals and companies to play a role in improving our environment."

Bridget Van Kralingen

Over $4.5 billion have been spent on carbon credits in the last 10 years. Organizations who purchase these credits are allowed to burn a specific amount of fossil fuels, as getting them shows a company “paid to have a certain amount of carbon dioxide removed from the environment.”

The new token will be backed by InfiniteEARTH, a sister company of Veridium. The former will receive the credits (referred to as REDDs) for the ongoing development and management service it provides for the Rimba Raya Rainforest, in Borneo.

According to Klee, IBM and Veridium plan on letting traders hedge potential environmental impact with the use of their blockchain platform.

Top-Tier Crypto Exchanges' Volumes Climb Back to One-Third of Total Market Share

The aggregate trading volume of top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges has increased by 61.2% during the month of January, while the volume of lower-tier crypto exchanges increased 46.4%.

According to CryptoCompare’s January 2020 Exchange Review, the trading volume of top-tier crypto exchanges – those rated AA-B according to its Exchange Benchmark – climbed last month to represent 29.3% of the total trading volume in the space.

The rise is significant as in December, the cryptoasset data provider’s report showed top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges were seeing their trading volumes drop as they lost market share to lower-tier crypto exchanges, those rated C-F. At the time, they represented 26.4% of the cryptocurrency market’s total trading volume.

top tier trading volumesSource: CryptoCompare Exchange Review

The report further found that exchanges that charge taker fees represented 76% of the total volume last month, while those that implement the controversial trans-fee mining (TFM) model represented 22%.

It also found that regulated bitcoin derivatives are still dominated by the CME, whose total trading volumes went up 145.6% since December. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust product (GBTC) saw its total trading volume rise 131% since December.

As for derivatives trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, in January OKEx represented the majority of daily derivatives volumes, trading $4.96 billion per day and capturing 31.1% of the total market share. Huobi traded $4.29 billion a day for 26.9% of it, while BitMEX traded $3.13 billion for 19.6%.

Pure crypto-to-crypto exchanges notably represented 75.4% of the market’s trading volume, in a similar proportion to the last two months. The stablecoin space, per the report, is still dominated by Tether’s USDT, as it still represents 94% of the total Bitcoin trading volume into the top four stablecoins.

Decentralized Exchanges Lose Trading Volume

CryptoCompare’s report also addresses decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges, noting IDEX was the largest one in January. It traded a total of $10 million as its trading volume went up 25.4%, and it was followed by Switcheo and Bitsquare. While these platforms’ volumes went up, DEXs as a whole have been losing volume.

dex CHARTSource: CryptoCompare Exchange Review

According to the report they have diminished 88% since early 2019 to now represent a small fraction of the global spot exchange volume. In January, decentralized trading platform traded $17.8 million in total, representing 0.003% of the market. In January 2019, for comparison, they traded $148 million.

Featured image via Unsplash.