- Ex-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and his spouse are launching a brand new startup known as Flowcarbon.
- The challenge 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 aside from WeWork’s eccentric cofounder.
His concept — 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 be capable 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?
Carbon buying and selling, in any other case generally 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 thought was to create shortage in how a lot carbon the enterprise world can emit. There are financial incentives in doing so — if a company does not use all of its carbon credit, it could actually 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.
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 certainly one of 4 main carbon credit score registries.
In keeping with Flowcarbon and it and its backers, the blockchain is the proper surroundings for buying and selling carbon credit, given the know-how’s innate transparency.
Separating the challenge 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 individuals within the carbon buying and selling area aren’t large 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 does not assist that local weather advocates have condemned elementary features of crypto as environmentally dangerous because of the massive quantity of power the transactions require.
Others, nevertheless, have famous how Web3 is the proper area for the startup, permitting it to extra simply fund initiatives that might scale back carbon from the environment.
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 take a look at potential monetary issues and turmoil on the coworking firm. Ultimately, the deal was yanked, and Neumann was ousted as CEO.
A present recounting the debacle, aptly known as “WeCrashed,” started airing on