The WeWork Guy is Pivoting to Carbon-Credits on Blockchain

Adam Neumann's face

Sure, that sub-head seems like gibberish to us too.

Adam Neumann, famously and previously the CEO of WeWork, is now supporting a brand new enterprise. The corporate, referred to as Flowcarbon, introduced Tuesday that it has raised $70 million in its first spherical of funding.

The most important investor in Flowcarbon is Silicon Valley enterprise capital fund, a16z, run by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. Different traders embody enterprise funds like Samsung Subsequent, Normal Catalystand Invesco Non-public Capital,

So, what’s the firm that attracted all that fancy tech cash? Properly Neumann, the gift-kingis seemingly transferring away from actual property and in direction of a “blockchain-enabled carbon credit score buying and selling platform,” in accordance with a report by Reuters.

Sorry, you did not catch that the primary (two) time(s)? It is a “blockchain-enabled carbon credit score buying and selling program.”

Nonetheless not clear? How about this rationalization from the corporate web site,

“Flowcarbon operates on the intersection of the voluntary carbon market and Web3, leveraging blockchain to scale local weather change options.”

Their acknowledged mission is, “to drive billions of {dollars} on to tasks that scale back or take away carbon from the environment by creating the primary open protocol for tokenizing dwell, licensed carbon credit from tasks across the globe.”

To aim some translation: It is an organization that makes carbon offset tasks (particularly nature-based ones, like tree planting) into crypto tokens for corporations to purchase and promote. Why? In line with Flowcarbon, they’re attempting to make use of the blockchain to construct a neater, extra accessible, and extra clear system of alternate.

“The carbon market is extraordinarily opaque and we consider demand for offsets is quickly outpacing the pace at which provide may be elevated, particularly for nature-based tasks,” stated one of many funding companions from a16z in a firm assertion,

It sounds good on paper/on display, however it’s essential to do not forget that carbon credit and offsets are continuously bullshit, Because the state of California discovered, planting bushes in a faraway place would not truly mitigate the harm perpetuated domestically domestically, And, no matter some wild claims, the blockchain cannot even much less its personal emissions and environmental ills by way of offsets.

In lots of circumstances, like that of California’s catastrophic state program, carbon offsets find yourself doing extra environmental hurt than good. Carbon credit score buying truly exacerbated deforestation in Brazil, in accordance with a 2019 ProPublica investigation, And business can use offsets as a simple excuse to maintain polluting.

Flowcarbon might earnestly be fixing a problem within the buying and selling of carbon credit, by making them extra readily exchanged at a lower cost (the corporate expenses 2% vs. increased charges within the conventional system, in accordance with Reuters). However ease of alternate is not actually the first downside right here. Till Adam Neumann formally backs an effort to meaningfully decarbonizewe’ll preserve him off the local weather heroes record.

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