Now, blockchain can turn carbon credits into tokens for trading

Blockchain, the electronic ledger technology underpinning bitcoin, has been used to address pollution and energy consumption in the past; now it appears poised to attack global warming and deforestation.

Earlier this month, IBM announced it’s working with environmental fintech company Veridium Labs Ltd. to tokenize carbon credits, which are used to incentivize companies to pollute less. The tokens could be traded on a distributed, open-source blockchain exchange run by start-up Stellar.

And this week, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream announced it has partnered with the non-profit Poseidon Foundation to pilot the use its blockchain platform to allow consumers to offset their carbon footprint by applying a portion of retail sales to purchase carbon credits. In doing so, consumers can literally reduce their own carbon footprint’s impact on the environment.

For each scoop of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sold at its shop in London’s SoHo district, a penny will be paid toward the purchase of a carbon credit that’s traded on Stellar’s blockchain-based exchange. Customers can also volunteer an additional penny at the point of sale toward the purchase of a carbon credit.