UPCO2 is tokenised carbon credit which helps fight deforestation in the Amazon, Congo Basin and Indonesia
Towards the start of the month, Elon Musk tweeted “Hodl the rainforests!!”, implying in crypto terminology that we need to sustain and protect the rainforests for the future. Well the Universal Protocol Alliance (UPA) have risen to meet that challenge by tokenising carbon.
UPA is a coalition of leading blockchain companies which includes CertiK, Uphold, Bittrex Global, Ledger, Fifth Era, Trovio, Hard Yaka and SFOX. At the start of 2020, they launched the Universal Carbon token UPCO2, with one UPCO2 representing one year-ton of CO2 pollution avoided by a project which is certified as REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation).
Every UPCO2 is backed by a Voluntary Carbon Unit (VCU), a digital certificate issued by international standards agencies such as Verra, which allows projects to turn their greenhouse gas reductions into tradable carbon credits.
UPA Chairman, Matthew Le Merle, said, “UPA is proud to have made Elon’s vision a reality. Hodling the rainforests is a critical and tremendous start, as they are the lungs of the world and under siege… but with the advent of digital carbon credits, an entire world of possibilities open up, creating an efficient conduit for market forces to deliver outsize results precisely where they’re most needed.”
The UPA yesterday announced that UPCO2 had become the first environmental crypto commodity to receive a listing on Liechtenstein based digital assets trading platform Bittrex Global.
Tom Albright, CEO of Bittrex Global, had this to say: “We are excited to be providing every Bittrex Global user with access to UPCO2. With this important new listing, we’re enabling institutional and retail investors to both invest in the appreciation of carbon credits and offset carbon footprints while helping to save the world’s rainforests.”
Alongside UPCO2, the UPA also created an ERC-20 wrapped carbon neutral Bitcoin known as BTC0, through consultations with leading carbon experts around the world. This led to the formation of the UP Carbon Foundation, which will use block issuance to ensure that funds spent on fully performed credits can go straight to expanding the protected acreage. They will also make sure that the carbon credits underlying UPCO2 are diverse and of unimpeachable quality.
Le Merle added that UPA and Bittrex Global planned to jointly submit Universal Carbon for an award from the X Prize Foundation, an Elon Musk-funded initiative to incentivise carbon removal.