Ousted WeWork founder Adam Neumann wants to put carbon credits on the blockchain with 'goddess nature tokens' to combat climate change
Carbon trading is getting the crypto treatment, and its latest orchestrator is none other than WeWork's eccentric cofounder.
His idea — powered in part by a $32 million round of funding from famed Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz — is to make these carbon credits more accessible and easier to trade with the help of the company's flagship product: the Goddess Nature Token (GNT.)
Businesses and individuals will be able to use these tokens — each backed by a real-life carbon credit — to buy and sell the permits on the blockchain in a decentralized manner, making the opaque and controversial process more transparent.
The new endeavor marks not only a turning point for Neumann following his fall from grace but also another high-profile tech founder leaping headfirst into the booming Web3 sphere.
Carbon trading, otherwise known as the voluntary carbon market, is when businesses buy and sell a limited amount of government-issued permits that they can "cash in" when they emit carbon.
The idea was to create scarcity in how much carbon the business world can emit. There are economic incentives in doing so — if a corporation doesn't use all of its carbon credits, it can sell them to peers. Depending on the country, if it emits too much carbon, it may have to buy more credits.
Neumann, per the website, believes this process is flawed, built on an "opaque and fractured market infrastructure" with credits that have little accessibility and brokers charging sky-high fees. That's where Flowcarbon and GNTs come in.
Flowcarbon did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, but a spokesperson told Vox that the credits represented by the company's tokens are issued from one of four major carbon credit registries.
According to Flowcarbon and it and its backers, the blockchain is the perfect environment for trading carbon credits, given the technology's innate transparency.