Why wait for governments around the globe to agree on a solution to climate change?
We can build a crowd powered global movement to create carbon sequestrating biochar that also enriches and builds the soil necessary to serve the demand for local food; estimated by the USDA to reach $20 billion by 2019.
Our solution is a public, decentralized, blockchain backed platform that track "waste" biomass and it's conversion to value producing biochar that works to sequestrate excess carbon from the air once it's incorporated into the soil building process of urban farmers.
What it does
Carbonus incentivises the producers of "waste" biomass such as farming operations (corn cobs and corn stover) and tree trimming companies (wood chips) to register their outputs on a public blockchain ledger that permanently records and identifies their loads including the weight, location, and other pertinent details as a "biomass credit".
When biochar producers accept the loads, converting the biomass into biochar, the production is noted in the same entry, converting the biomass credit into a greater value "carbon credit".
When the biochar is purchased by or donated to urban farmers who work it into the earth, the carbon credit is converted in a greater value "sequestration credit". The exact location it's planted into the soil is recorded on the public ledger. This gives the real estate a "sequestration value" that will hopefully incentivize urban farmers to organize community land trusts to permanently purchase the land to protect from development and continue to enrich.
There is possibly an opportunity to create a publicly traded market of these credits by using the carbon credits as the basis of a "charcoin" cryptocurrency that encourages the people to purchase credits from the biochar producers who then would donate the biochar to farmers. It's possible the market may support financial compensation for the biomass credits as well as once they are sequestrated in the ground as sequestration credits.
The idea is to incentivise biomass producers who would otherwise just dump their waste to instead redirect it to the "carbon market".
How I built it
This is just a landing page to collect feedback and conduct customer discovery. Blockchain is not my core competency but this event provided the opportunity to see the available possibilities and conceptualize a product.
The full marketplace will be a Node JS platform using Multichain as a blockchain provider.
Challenges I ran into
Researching the capabilities of the blockchain and learning about decentralized marketplaces took most of the time. Then trying to implement the information in less time than a standard 54 hr hackathon.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Actually pushing through the learning curve and absorbing enough to actually conceptualize an actual product my company will continue to develop.
What I learned
This is an extremely important area that we don't have to (and really, can't) wait for governments around the planet to get serious about. We can began to deploy a market centric, crowd powered process.
What's next for Carbonus: The Open Sector Carbon Market
We are going to pilot a full sequestration credit (and possibly charcoin creation) process here in Atlanta with a local tree trimming company, community biochar production effort, and urban farm(s).
The entirety of the process will be open, public and decentralized.