Mingis on Tech: Blockchain tackles...carbon credits?

With the distributed ledger technology showing up in a variety of industries, it's no surprise that it's now being eyed as a way for keeping track of carbon credits.

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It's been rolled our for global supply chains. And for tracking food origins. As a way to streamline real estate deals. And even as a way of protecting personal identities.

Now, blockchain is being touted as an efficient way for companies to securely keep track of carbon credits they use.

Yes, carbon credits.

As Computerworld senior writer Lucas Mearian explains to Executive Editor Ken Mingis, IBM is now working with Veridium Labs on the project. (IBM has been at the forefront of several early blockchain pilot projects, including its early collaboration with global shipping company Maersk.)

Veridium has developed a way to effectively tokenize carbon credits, allowing them to be bought, sold and transferred – much like any other commodity. That goal is to create a public, permissioned blockchain that lets companies trade carbon offsets in real-time.

The IBM-Viridium effort is aimed at companies; a similar effort is under way by ice cream chain Ben & Jerry's, according to Forbes. That particular project envisions  carbon credits as microtransactions that can be associated with ice cream sales – with a portion of the money from sales being used for efforts to slow climate change.

The underlying technology for the Ben & Jerry's project, like the one involving Viridium Labs, would use the Stellar blockchain protocol. (Stellar is a blockchain protocol IBM has worked with since last October.)

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