The WeWork Guy Turns To Carbon Credits On Blockchain

The face of Adam Neumann

Yeah, that subhed sounds like gibberish to us too.

Adam Neumann, famous and formerly the CEO from WeWork, now supports a new venture. The company, called Flowcarbon, announced on Tuesday that it has increased $70 million in the first funding round.

The largest investor in Flowcarbon is the Silicon Valley venture capital fund, a16z, run by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. Other investors include venture capital funds such as Samsung NextGeneral Catalystand Invesco Private Capital

So, what is the company that has attracted all that fancy technology money? Well Neumann, de grit kingapparently going away from property and to a “blockchain-enabled carbon credit trading platform,” according to a report of Reuters.

Sorry, didn’t you get that the first (two) time(s)? It is a “blockchain-enabled carbon credit trading program.”

Still not clear? How about this explanation from the company website

“Operating at the intersection of the voluntary carbon market and Web3, Flowcarbon leverages blockchain to scale solutions for climate change.”

Their stated mission is, “to send billions of dollars directly to projects that reduce or remove carbon from the atmosphere by creating the first open protocol for tokenizing live, certified carbon credits from projects around the world.”

To try a translation, it is a company that converts carbon offset projects (especially nature-based projects, such as tree planting) into crypto tokens that companies can buy and sell. Why? According to Flowcarbon, they are trying to use the blockchain to build a simpler, more accessible and more transparent exchange system.

“The carbon market is extremely opaque and we believe that the demand for offsets is rapidly exceeding the rate at which the supply can be increased, especially for nature-based projects,” said one of a16z’s investment partners in a statement. company statement

It sounds good on paper/on screen, but it’s important to remember that carbon credits and offsets are often bullshit† As the state of California taught, planting trees in a distant place doesn’t really soften the damage remained local† And, regardless of some wild claims, the blockchain can’t even reduce its own emissions and environmental problems through offsets.

In many cases, such as that of California catastrophic state program, CO2 offsets ultimately do more environmental damage than good. The purchase of carbon credits has actually exacerbated deforestation in Brazil, according to a ProPublica Survey 2019† and industry can use offsets as an easy excuse to keep polluting.

Flowcarbon can seriously solve a problem when trading carbon credits, by making them easier to redeem at a lower price (according to Reuters, the company charges 2% versus higher fees in the traditional system). But the ease of exchange isn’t really the primary issue here. Until Adam Neumann officially backs an effort to meaningful decarbonisingwe love him the climate heroes list.

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