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LVBTC 17 Sep 2018 22:26

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Veridium with IBM
The Natural Capital Marketplace

The missing link between our environment's health and sustainable economic growth.

Institutional investors, governments, and corporations have an expensive problem. The natural resources we all consume are undervalued, unreplenished, and their use causes additional environmental harm (externalities). Our team, led by one of the largest carbon credit producers in the world has partnered with IBM to build an ecosystem for tokenized natural assets. These tokens can be created to bring market-based value to natural resources and offset environmental damage.

A Brief Statement
Hi all, I have been an entrepreneur in Bitcoin and crypto for the past 6 or so years starting with a company named Bitmarkers. My brother was CEO of Coinsetter, which exited to Kraken, and my multi-million dollar apparel brand (Shirtwascash) has been an early-adopter of accepting crypto (since 2014) and was the first to accept Ethereum, LTC, and BCH on Shopify. I will do my best to coordinate responses I am unable to answer between the official team and community here. Feel free to ask any and all questions you have, this topic along with climate change needs less reactionary news headlines and more educated discussion. The team behind Veridium has been active in this space for decades and has hands-on insight on many aspects regarding viable solutions. I believe in what Veridium is accomplishing and how attributing a market value to natural assets is an important step towards our future. People are aware there's an issue with carbon emissions and human consumption but tune out due to a lack of focus on realistic solutions. They expect it's a problem for governments.

We need your help sharing the message that saving our environment has a viable market-based solution that accelerates the green economy.

The fact is, when it comes to the environment, basically no one is talking about the underlying problem - and it's greater than just our climate. Transitioning to a fully sustainable economic model is the key to our future. So, how does the world become environmentally responsible without destroying the economy? Veridium has partnered with IBM to build the answer.

Tokens Backed by Verifiable Assets
Veridium is a platform for creating and matching natural asset-backed tokens with end-user offset needs. The future of utilizing multiple natural asset-backed tokens in a single transactions is achieved through a base currency on the Veridium Exchange. Presale participates will receive the exchange's base currency, VERDE, and asset-backed CARBON.

The CARBON token represents a single carbon credit backed by a diversified portfolio of internationally verified carbon credits. This solution simplifies all of the complicated variables inherent to carbon credit offsetting through a single, easily transferable asset. The diverse portfolio is managed by the Veridium Foundation, a Canadian non-profit foundation.

The VERDE token is the base currency on Veridium’s exchange and facilitates EcoSmart-Transactions™, which automate the corporate carbon credit accounting and offsetting process across global supply chains. These transactions can be made by large corporate buyers through IBM's HyperLedger while other users can access EcoSmart-Transactions™ through an API on the Veridium Exchange. This process makes the underlying environmental credits immensely more consumable for corporations.

Supply600,000,000 |  2,500,000*
Release  $0.10 USD |  Each $10 of VERDE is bundled with 1 CARBON
TypeUtility Token |  Commodity-backed stable token (1 token = 1 carbon credit)
OfferingParticipants receive both tokens
Soft Cap$5,000,000 usd*
Hard Cap$25,000,000
PresaleOctober 1, 2018
Main SaleDecember 1, 2018
ExcludedUSA, China
*CARBON is a commodity-backed token. Tokens will be created and burned in line with additions and retirements of underlying carbon credits.
*Blocktower Capital has also joined as the lead token buyer.

Humanity has an unsustainable impact on the natural resources of our planet and we lack viable solutions that can address this complicated issue. Corporations and individuals demand viable, market-ready solutions that address the challenges we face in creating an environmentally sustainable global economy.

Top 3 Industry Challenges

Carbon Accounting
Measuring the carbon footprint of even a single product, among thousands, involves quantifying the emissions impact of each and every input in a manufacturing process across complex global supply chains. This is a daunting and costly undertaking, and this level of granularity has no assurance of accuracy.
  • Corporate carbon accounting and offsetting is currently a manual process. These processes are time consuming and costly and the level of granularity seldom produces certainty.
  • Measuring even broader environmental liabilities, such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, water consumption and social impact, adds almost insurmountable complexities and related costs.

Carbon Purchasing
Once impacts have been quantified, companies are confronted with a myriad of carbon standards, various classes of carbon credits, as well as grades within those classes, and a wide range of vintages and expiration dates.
  • Markets and pricing are opaque. Only a handful of carbon consultants and brokers control 75% of the carbon markets worldwide.
  • Illiquidity limits price discovery and also obfuscates the true cost that emissions impacts have on society. A 2015 U.S. government study valued a ton of carbon dioxide to be worth $37 in damages, a Stanford University study valued it at $220, while current market prices hover at $15.

Carbon Mitigation and Hedging
Mitigating liabilities for the current year is challenging enough. Hedging for future liabilities is even more challenging.
  • “Compliance” credits traded on exchanges are liquid and can be placed on a balance sheet as an asset, but have limited environmental benefit beyond carbon emissions and have short expiration dates, rendering them ineffective as long-term hedges.
  • “Voluntary” credits, such as REDD+ credits, have long expiration dates and uch broader environmental benefits, but are traded over-the-counter (B2B), making them difficult to classify as assets on a balance sheet.

Corporations undertaking the challenge of quantifying their environmental liabilities find themselves navigating an obscure world that is outside their core competency and delivers uncertain results. The process of carbon accounting is complex, costly, and carbon credit markets are equally complex and opaque. Even well-intentioned companies currently have substantial barriers to carbon accounting & offetting, which limits participation in the effort to mitigate emissions.

Veridium believes simplifying carbon accounting and making carbon markets more accessible are critical for corporations and consumers to participate in the fight against climate change. By using carbon credits, which are generated through environmental conservation projects (ie: forest preservation funding), rather than a carbon tax, the revenues generated contribute towards a broader movement to transition our economy away from a purely consumption-based relation with our planet's natural resources. The Veridium team has an established history of working with corporate leaders such as Microsoft, Intuit, PwC, Shell and BP, in their carbon sustainability programs, providing necessary insight into the challenges large corporations face. Their projects currently protect over 64,000 hectares of forests and provide sanctuary for over 100 threatened and endangered species.

This technology automates carbon accounting and offset challenges through IBM's HyperLedger while funding a continuous cycle of positive environmental impact.

Veridium Exchange will offer price transparency and liquidity to natural capital markets that are typically traded over-the-counter. The exchange will offer spot and futures markets for a variety of tokenized assets, including carbon offsets and other eco-positive assets that corporations can acquire to offset their current environmental impacts as well as hedge future obligations.

Through Veridium’s partnership with IBM, companies using IBM’s supply chain management software on Hyperledger Fabric can automatically use VERDE to calculate the carbon liability of a transaction and offset that liability by purchasing and burning the CARBON token and retiring the underlying carbon credits from the Veridium Foundation carbon bank. This process makes the underlying environmental credits immensely more consumable for corporations.

There are two types of markets for carbon offsets: compliance and voluntary.

In the “public compliance market”, governments, corporations, and other institutions buy offsets in order to meet carbon emission allowances set by governing bodies. In 2017, $33.5 billion of carbon offsets were purchased in the compliance market, representing about 6.3 billion metric tons of CO2 reductions. This amount of CO2 emissions is equivalent to the total power consumption of all 325 million US citizens’ homes for 8.1 years, calculated by EPA estimates. Governing bodies include nations, industry organizations, states, cities, and other regulatory bodies for industry.

The voluntary market provides individuals, companies, and governments the ability to purchase a more diverse selection of carbon offsets to meet regulations, corporate environmental programs, and mitigate their own emissions. In 2016, about $705 million of reported carbon offsets were purchased in the voluntary market, representing about 123.4 million metric tons of CO2e reductions. This is equivalent to 30.6 coal-fired power plants’ being shut down for one year or 286 million barrels of oil’s being eliminated.
*Please note: all data sources and further detail is available in the whitepaper.

In 2017, global trading of all emission allowances and offsets surpassed 6.3 gigatons. This represents an increase of approximately 5 percent compared to the prior year, as total carbon credits created and consumed reached record highs. Reuters reported that global value of carbon markets climbed 22 percent to $33.5 billion annually. Even with the US government’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, North American carbon markets almost doubled in value in 2017, largely attributed to growth from California’s carbon market and legislation. Total carbon market volumes are expected to grow in 2018 as China begins its national rollout of its own emissions quota and carbon trading plan.

In addition to increasing government action on climate change, investor concerns may generate even higher and more immediate demand.

Risk managers at institutional investment funds, including pension funds, are placing a larger focus on the risks that environmental liabilities pose to shareholder value. It is now common practice for institutional investment funds to require companies to quantify current and future environmental liabilities. Failure to do so has resulted in investors selling these corporations’ stock. In 2018, institutional fund managers representing over $26 trillion in assets under management have signed a letter to address the carbon liabilities of their underlying portfolio companies.

Fund managers have also received government support on this initiative. For example, the UK government introduced new rules in June 2018 permitting pension funds to sell shares of fossil fuel companies if managers believe that they could turn into “stranded assets”. Stranded assets refer to coal, oil, and gas deposits that may never be monetized as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy. Investor demands could drive a response from industries that heavily rely on carbon emissions in their supply chains. Ways in which affected companies can adapt to this new standard include switching to practices that have a lower carbon footprint, investing in cleaner technology, reengineering infrastructure to be more efficient, using green energy, and purchasing carbon offsets.

Key market indicators point toward an increase in global demand of internationally recognized tools such as carbon offsets in the fight against climate change. EU policymakers are expected to keep the cost of pollution on an upward trajectory through 2030, prompting hedge funds to become active in the market. Carbon credits are also the only market-based method to solve some of the most difficult environmental challenges we face. Self-regulating industries such as the Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which represents approx. 5% of world emissions, and has decided to set up a scheme that allows for offsetting in 2020. This single industry could represent the biggest increase ever in voluntary market demand. There are many factors that impact demand for carbon credits, but it is evident that this market is a growing part of the world economy.

The Future of Regenerative Economies
Our current extractive economic model has existed since the beginning of humankind. We extract from nature to produce the products we consume, and nature replaces what we have extracted. This model was sustainable until our collective consumption rates began outpacing nature’s ability to replace what we had consumed. In this extractive economic model, we do not include the cost of environmental impacts and replacements in the price of the goods and services we provide. Those costs are being passed on to future generations, creating an environmental debt.

We are on a collision course, where a new model will be forced on us unless we adapt. The concept behind that new economic model is simple: we must embed environmental replacement costs into the products we consume. Accomplishing that in practice, however, is complicated. We lack efficient tools for measuring the environmental impacts and embedding compensation costs—until now. Blockchain technology has the ability to utterly transform the world’s unsustainable economic model and Veridium is leveraging that technology to do just that.

In the Media
Tech Crunch - Veridium Labs teams with IBM and Stellar on carbon credit blockchain
Bitcoin Magazine - IBM and Veridium to Transform Carbon Credits into Blockchain-Based Tokens
Nasdaq - IBM and Veridium to Transform Carbon Credits into Blockchain-Based Tokens
MarketWatch - IBM and Veridium Labs partner to use blockchain technology to improve carbon-credit markets
Cryptoslate - Stellar Joins Forces With IBM to Bring Carbon Credits to the Blockchain
PC Mag - Blockchain Tokens Create a New Way to Manage Carbon Footprints
CoinTelegraph - IBM Partners With Veridium Labs To Let Companies Track Carbon Footprint Via Blockchain
Forbes - IBM To Use Stellar For Its First Crypto-Token On A Public Blockchain
Coindesk - IBM Is Helping Build a Carbon Credit Blockchain Token

Official Links

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Humanity is facing a massive and urgent environmental challenge. Veridium Labs founders, Todd Lemons and Jim Procanik, have been preserving precious rainforests and unique biomes for over 10 years while leading one of the world’s largest carbon credit producers. Now, we’re calling upon industry experts like you to join us in achieving real-world solutions to address climate change. We believe through blockchain technology that we can work together to move towards an environmentally responsible economy.

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