- Ex-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and his spouse are launching a brand new startup known as Flowcarbon.
- The venture goals to make use of the blockchain to let companies commerce carbon credit utilizing crypto tokens.
- These tokens have been dubbed Goddess Nature Tokens, or GNTs.
Carbon buying and selling is getting the crypto remedy, and its newest orchestrator is none apart from WeWork’s eccentric cofounder.
His thought — powered partially by a $32 million spherical of funding from famed Silicon Valley enterprise agency Andreessen Horowitz — is to make these carbon credit extra accessible and simpler to commerce with the assistance of the corporate’s flagship product: the Goddess Nature Token (GNT.)
Companies and people will have the ability to use these tokens — every backed by a real-life carbon credit score — to purchase and promote the permits on the blockchain in a decentralized method, making the opaque and controversial course of extra clear.
The brand new endeavor marks not solely a turning level for Neumann following his fall from grace but in addition one other high-profile tech founder leaping headfirst into the booming Web3 sphere.
So what’s carbon buying and selling? And the place does crypto are available in?
Carbon buying and selling, in any other case often known as the voluntary carbon market, is when companies purchase and promote a restricted quantity of government-issued permits that they will “money in” once they emit carbon.
The concept was to create shortage in how a lot carbon the enterprise world can emit. There are financial incentives in doing so — if a company would not use all of its carbon credit, it could promote them to friends. Relying on the nation, if it emits an excessive amount of carbon, it could have to purchase extra credit.
Neumann, per the website, believes this course of is flawed, constructed on an “opaque and fractured market infrastructure” with credit which have little accessibility and brokers charging sky-high charges. That is the place Flowcarbon and GNTs are available in.
Flowcarbon didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark, however a spokesperson instructed Vox that the credit represented by the corporate’s tokens are issued from one in all 4 main carbon credit score registries.
Based on Flowcarbon and it and its backers, the blockchain is the proper setting for buying and selling carbon credit, given the know-how’s innate transparency.
Separating the venture from its leaders’ previous?
Critics have lengthy mentioned the carbon buying and selling market is inherently broken, which calls to query Neumann’s aim of merely placing them extra in attain within the enterprise sector.
And a few folks within the carbon buying and selling area aren’t enormous followers of integrating with the crypto world — Verra, one of many world’s largest carbon crediting packages, mentioned final week that it would not allow its credit to again crypto tokens. It would not assist that local weather advocates have condemned elementary facets of crypto as environmentally dangerous due to the massive quantity of power the transactions require.
Others, nonetheless, have famous how Web3 is the proper area for the startup, permitting it to extra simply fund initiatives that might cut back carbon from the ambiance.
However on prime of all of that’s the truth that Neumann oversaw one of the tech world’s most infamous implosions in 2019, when WeWork was gearing up for an IPO. Regulatory filings for that providing gave an inside have a look at potential monetary issues and turmoil on the coworking firm. Finally, the deal was yanked, and Neumann was ousted as CEO.
A present recounting the debacle, aptly known as “WeCrashed,” started airing on