Akihabara News (Tokyo) — XELS, a startup based in Tokyo and Hong Kong, is today launching a blockchain platform for buying and trading carbon credits on Bittrex Global, a leading cryptocurrency exchange.
This initiative combines the new technologies that lay behind contemporary cryptocurrencies with the fight against global climate change.
According to the firm, the XELS token will provide both businesses and individuals access to a blockchain-based carbon offset platform, initially focused on tokenized voluntary carbon offset credits.
“We believe that decentralization is the only way that carbon markets can work effectively,” explains XELS founder and CEO Takeshi Nojima. “XELS will enable the industry to maintain open, transparent records–from generation, to sale, to retirement. Making it easy for corporations to transparently offset their carbon without fear of fraud will make them even more willing to combat global warming, and it will pay dividends as far as consumer trust that they’re truly intent on making a difference for the environment.”
Mitch Hammer, project manager at XELS, elaborates in an exclusive interview with Akihabara News, “By recording these credits, storing them on the blockchain, we can really work and verify where the carbon comes from, when it was minted, when it was retired, and really trace it all the way along.”
One of the unique features of this initiative is that it allows, for the first time, individuals to participate in the cap and trade carbon emissions system that was first established under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Hammer adds, “Like any kind of economic model with supply and demand, the more people that are into it, the more people who have access to it, it has a bigger impact. What we aim to do is to make a very simple platform using blockchain that allows people to mitigate their offsets. If you want to buy one ton, you can press a button and purchase a ton, and you can 100% guarantee that goes towards removing one ton of CO2 from the atmosphere.”
As for Japan, a company release notes that it “lags behind European nations, where businesses are compelled to buy compliance credits to avoid heavy taxes. XELS is already in talks with numerous listed companies in Japan that are keen to get on board with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s target of reaching net zero domestic emissions by 2050.”