Round 9

Sinking carbon with Stellar

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June 2018
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Life on Earth is under threat from rapid climate change. This threat isn’t the same for everyone because there are big disparities caused by geographical and economic factors. Busy, ordinary people in the developed world who are causing approximately 80% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, have capital at their disposal that could significantly contribute to practical solutions around the globe. This project will incentivize and simplify reducing the GHG emissions that are, in a sense, caused by their comfortable lifestyles.

A carbon offset broadly refers to a reduction in GHG emissions – or an increase in carbon storage, e.g., preventing deforestation, or the (re)planting of trees – that is used to compensate for emissions that could not be avoided elsewhere. A carbon offset credit is a transferable instrument certified by governments or independent standardization bodies to represent an emission reduction of one metric tonne of CO2, or an equivalent amount of other greenhouse gases. The purchaser of an offset credit can “retire” it to claim the underlying reduction of GHGs in the offset project towards their own greenhouse gas reduction goals, or can do this on someone else’s behalf.  In effect “retiring” means that you are funding a project that took GHGs out of the atmosphere and e.g. converted it into carbon in trees and soil.  

For example: Jane and Max estimate that the energy usage of their family’s house, car, and air travel produces 36 tonnes of GHG emissions per year. They have made plans to further insulate their home, switch to an electric vehicle, and find alternatives to air travel, but it will take years before they can achieve zero GHG emissions from these sources. In the meantime they want to support forest protection projects to offset their current emissions, by funding the protection of forests that would otherwise be logged or burned down.

Large corporations are increasingly finding their way to voluntary carbon markets, to help offset the emissions that they haven’t been able to avoid. Smaller enterprises, communities, and individuals like Jane and Max have had a much harder time gaining access to these markets. Carbon markets can be confusing because there are several (partly overlapping) certification and standardization bodies, brokers and intermediaries to deal with, and a wealth of information on offset projects, but its complexity means that there is little clarity and transparency.

Stellarcarbon will improve clarity, transparency, and access, by allowing people to easily estimate their GHG emissions, and to offset these by financially supporting high-quality, accredited carbon offset projects. Estimating emissions is somewhat of an optional step for individuals, because it is also completely valid to support offset projects based on, e.g., what you can afford rather than how many emissions you are causing. Stellarcarbon nevertheless wants to give individuals some insight into their GHG emissions, because doing so can help to set realistic personal emissions reduction goals.

In our vision, clients can buy, store, save, and transfer verified carbon tokens on the Stellar Network to actively take part in shaping the future of our planet. This project puts people in touch with real climate action via the click of a mouse and the transfer of a token, and preferably by learning a thing or two along the way.

Stellarcarbon will provide a simple way to:

  1. Calculate GHG emissions;
  2. Support carbon offset projects;
  3. Inspect proof of accredited projects;
  4. Retire accredited carbon offsets (“sink carbon”);
  5. Claim an offset on the Stellar ledger;
  6. Boast about these immutable voluntary offsets;
  7. Receive rewards for supporting offset projects;
  8. Vote on future carbon offset projects for Stellarcarbon to support;
  9. Penalize bad actors; and
  10. Contribute to reducing the excess of GHGs in the atmosphere.

Voluntary Carbon Markets & Standards

Voluntary carbon markets function outside of formal government-regulated compliance markets and enable companies and individuals to purchase carbon offsets on a voluntary basis with no intended use for legal compliance purposes. The quality of voluntary carbon offsets needs to be established by recognized standards such as those managed by the Verra Registry. One such standard is that for “Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation” (REDD+), which is a framework created by the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) to guide activities in the forest sector which reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.

Team Stellarcarbon favors reductions in forest degradation because in addition to providing a sustainable and long term carbon sink, mature forests are also critical for maintaining biodiversity. It is biodiversity that is the key to the long term sustainability of the planet and this is underpinned by many cycles, carbon being one of them. Furthermore, intact mature old growth forests around the world are more resilient to fire and they are also critical infrastructure for many indigenous communities and an integral part of their culture. Simply put, if we don’t protect our old growth forests they are more likely to burn and become a source of carbon emissions rather than a carbon sink. Many of these additional values may not be embodied for example in carbon capture and sequestration technology, which we see as important next phase projects. 

For example: old growth, biodiverse forests are being cleared and burned by farmers for arable farming at a certain rate per year. This frees the carbon that was previously locked within the forest into the atmosphere, contributing to rapid climate change. Assisting the (subsistence) farmers who are clearing the forest with capital to invest in technology and training for more sustainable farming practices, helps them get better yields from existing cleared land. This then results in them not needing to clear more forest area, and this in turn results in reduced GHG emissions from deforestation and degradation. After the forests are verified as still standing and undisturbed, the monitored reduction in GHG emissions can be issued as Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) that Stellarcarbon buys via the Verra Registry.

Stellarcarbon’s first REDD+ project

The project that Stellarcarbon is currently purchasing VCUs from is called:

Forest Management to Reduce Deforestation and Degradation in Shipibo Conibo and Cacataibo Indigenous Communities of Ucayali Region

This project protects 127,004 hectares of forest from deforestation with an estimated annual emission reduction of 564,818 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions. The number of VCUs that it actually issues is determined by the audited and monitored reduction of CO2-equivalent emissions that has already taken place.

“The Ucayali Region is located in the central part of eastern Peru, with an approximate area of 105 082.69 km2, is the second region, after the Loreto Region, to introduce greater extent. Politically bounded on the north by the Loreto Region; on the south by the Regions of Junín, Cusco and Madre de Dios; on the west by the Huánuco and Pasco regions; on the east by the State of Acre - Brazil. It is divided into 4 provinces: Padre Abad, Coronel Portillo and Atalaya Purus; for a total of 15 districts . It has 432,000 inhabitants, according to the National Census of 2007. In Ucayali live 14 ethnic families with a population of 40 thousand people, representing 12 percent of total Amazonian indigenous population.The project is developed in 07 native communities belonging to ethnic Shibipo Conibo and Cacataibo, which grouped occupy an area of 127,004.0 hectares. The purpose of the project is to conserve the forests of these communities with the advance of deforestation and degradation.”

In addition these offsets also have the CCB-Gold standard label applied to them, indicating additional benefits to biodiversity and vulnerable communities.

Tokens on the Stellar Network

To make Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) highly accessible, transparent, and their retirement immutable, Stellarcarbon has minted two tokens on the Stellar Network that mirror the transactions that occur with Stellarcarbon’s account on the Verra Registry. These tokens are named CARBON, which represents purchased active VCUs, and CarbonSINK, which represents retired VCUs. CarbonSINK is effectively a receipt and public proof that funds have been paid to the project owners whose project has reduced the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. 

Verra registration

In order to provide auditable accounting between current REDD+ credits (i.e. “green carbon”) purchased via the Verra Registry and the number of CARBON and CarbonSINK tokens issued by Stellarcarbon and subsequently retired, the accounts “ CARBON Pool” and “ CARBON Sink” have been created on the Verra Registry. These accounts have corresponding publicly visible pages showing the number of credits purchased and the number of retired units. The Verra Registry also provides detailed information linking each unit in the pool or sink to a specific carbon project. This is how Stellarcarbon demonstrates proof of ownership of registered carbon units that match the total supply of CARBON on the Stellar Network. In the example below you can see Stellarcarbon as owner and the quantity of credits already purchased, and as of yet unretired, on Verra = 24 + 1 = 25:

Figure 1: Number of credits purchased by Stellarcarbon on Verra.

Figure 2: CARBON Pool Account - showing the specific credit on Verra that corresponds to the second CARBON unit that was minted on Stellar.

Stellarcarbon further enhances the information in the Verra Registry by linking it to specific Stellar transactions.

Motivation to build on Stellar

Based on the collective experience of Stellarcarbon’s team members and the existing functionality of Stellar protocols, the Stellar Network is an ideal platform for us to build upon. Stellar’s reputation as an energy-efficient distributed ledger is compatible with the concerns of our target audience, and makes it economically feasible to offset the remaining emissions from core network infrastructure. It features a rich set of operation types on the protocol level, which allowed for rapid prototyping of our implementation. The transparency and explorability of transactions and accounts on Stellar also support our mission. Finally, the Stellar ecosystem overall maintains good relationships with regulators, which is important for the kind of reputation we want to build as a brand.

Supporting a forest protection project through Stellarcarbon

To claim a GHG emissions offset or “credit retirement”, CARBON credits in a user’s Stellar account need to be swapped for a token that represents the retired balance, in a way that also prevents retired credits from being transferred or traded. This is simply done by incorporating the swap into a single transaction, i.e., the amount of CARBON that the user would like to claim as an offset is returned to the issuer, and the user’s account is credited with an equivalent amount of CarbonSINK. Within this transaction the user is first granted authorisation for the CarbonSINK trustline, and at the end of the transaction this authorisation is revoked, effectively locking the balance on their account. This mechanism is designed to allow a Stellarcarbon administrator to move a user’s entire CarbonSINK balance to another account, if the need arises.

On the Stellarcarbon backend, this offset transaction will subsequently be added to the Verra Registry, referencing the Stellar transaction that was initiated by the user. Initially this involves a manual step because Verra does not currently expose an API. This forces us to require a minimum CARBON balance to retire, as we cannot manually engage with trivially small amounts. Stellarcarbon aims to fully automate this process in order to allow offsetting small amounts, as well as reducing the latency before proof of retirement is visible in the Verra Registry.

Figure 3: Life cycle of CARBON and its relationship with Projects and Verra.

CARBON token

The token name for spendable offset credits is CARBON, of which one unit corresponds to one tonne of CO2-equivalent emissions reduced, avoided, or sequestered, that can be retired on the registry where it has been originally issued.

The keypair for the issuing account has been created with CARBON at the end of its public key for recognizability and to add a bit of flair:


The first minting transaction can be found here:

Our first (carbon retirement) sinking transaction can be viewed here:

Figure 4: The overview of Stellarcarbon retirements into the CARBON Sink account on Verra.

Figure 5: The first retirement certificate, for our launching customer Public Node (shared here with permission).

Incentives for users and partners

Buyers of carbon offsets (people, communities, companies) want a simple way to calculate and offset their carbon emissions by supporting credible offset projects.

Incentives from an end-user perspective; “buying and retiring carbon offsets allows me to”:

  1. clear my conscience (applies to individuals & communities);
  2. boast about my support of carbon offset projects (i.e. social credit, the prime concern of corporations and other organizations);
  3. contribute to the common goal of conserving established forests and restoring damaged ecosystems, to help reduce GHGs in the atmosphere to sustainable levels;
  4. build up a CarbonSINK balance and a collection of badges (i.e. NFTs), which may provide access to gated services and discounts with Stellarcarbon partners;
  5. buy, store, and save carbon tokens to actively take part in shaping the future of our planet.
Producers of carbon offsets, as well as Stellarcarbon and its prospective partners, want their reputation protected from bad actors, and to have a simple way to prove the integrity of their offset credits and to expand their offering.

Launch and beyond

Stellarcarbon has quietly issued and retired the first CARBON token, with Public Node as a launching customer. Our immediate aim is to repeat this process with other Stellar infrastructure operators over the coming months, working towards carbon-neutral infrastructure for the benefit of the whole ecosystem.

We are asking for funding to increase our reach and scalability. If we are selected to receive SCF funding, we will be able to improve the website, the CARBON purchase and retirement process, and to develop an API including documentation. It will additionally allow us to start developing open-source monitoring and auditing tools, design badges to acknowledge the support of specific offset projects, and to research the feasibility of backing up relevant data from the Verra Registry.

Moreover, Stellarcarbon would like to buy between 250 and 333 Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) and add them to our CARBON Pool as a buffer, because the process for sourcing them can take several weeks. We aim to retire 100 VCUs by the third month after our public launch, but we are preparing to deal with larger volumes.

While there are many projects already on the Verra Registry that can possibly be acquired, it is the (dot-on-the-horizon) ambition of Team Stellarcarbon to additionally register its own projects on the Verra Registry. Participating directly in the development of offset projects will allow Stellarcarbon to better understand what is needed for further transparency on the Stellar Network and provide further proof to clients for even greater trust in offset projects.

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Previous Project(s)
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Progress so far

Stellarcarbon currently has a functional prototype. We have a couple of test users including Public Node, Mojoflower, and some other Stellar users. We have purchased Verified Carbon Units on Verra and have also retired some VCUs on the Verra Registry, mirroring our transactions on the Stellar Network. We aim to undertake market research to see what incentivizes our target audiences. We have global applicability and therefore need to consider global scalability. We are currently self-funding the project and are fund-raising via this SCF submission. We will use the next phase to better understand our target market and also test, fine tune, and automate our current prototype for global scalability.

Xpollinate Pty Ltd, trading as Stellarcarbon, is based in Australia. It is the current commercial applicant that, with the assistance of the SCF funding, will in accordance with this project description get the project to a phase 1 minimum viable product. Once the project has momentum and can generate a small margin on the retirement of verified carbon units, we intend to migrate the solution and its management into a not for profit entity such as a foundation. This will give more transparency as well as increase confidence in the independence of Stellarcarbon. It will open up opportunities for government funding for carbon projects as well as the potential to apply for deductible gift recipient status so that donors can deduct contributions they make from their taxes due, at their marginal rate of tax. The director of Xpollinate is currently the treasurer of an incorporated association and has also set up and run deductible gift recipients and several environmental charities over the past 15 years. This includes being the Vice Chair of a government not-for-profit reporting to government ministers. 


Our 6-month goal is to have automated the end-to-end process from calculating carbon emissions, through purchasing registered offsets, to generation and distribution of reward tokens. We will have identified the incentives that our target market is sensitive to, and have several subscribers that regularly fund CARBON as well as new customers that fund spot transactions. We will have a pool of liquidity on Verra and will integrate with Automated Market Makers (AMM) on Stellar. We will have strategic partnerships in place with others within the Stellar ecosystem, to build on our platform to seamlessly encourage their users to offset personal or business emissions through their products. We will have identified at least two additional verified carbon projects to source carbon offsets from that fit with our Vision as well as appeal to our target market.

To get there, we  will use our requested budget of  

Necessary Resources

Improvement of the website

  • integrate our API endpoint for retiring CARBON;
  • integrate with Albedo and for users to sign sinking transactions;
  • accurate emissions calculator for Stellar validators and Horizon instances;
  • simplified emissions calculator for individuals;
  • add clear documentation and educational content;
  • embeddable widget that shows an attractive presentation of the offset projects that a Stellar account has supported.

Automate the CARBON purchase and retirement process

  • develop a listener for on-chain sinking transactions which finalizes the retirement in the Verra Registry.

Develop an API including documentation

  • we have a testing version with a single endpoint running;
  • it needs further development and documentation;
  • decide on supporting SEP-8 and/or Turing Signing Servers (depending on community feedback and legal advice).

Develop scalability

  • open-source monitoring and auditing tools to allow us to keep track of processes when volume starts to take off, and for use by other Stellar partners which start to use our API integration;
  • design badges to acknowledge the support of specific offset projects.

Improve liquidity

  • add VCUs as a buffer into the CARBON Pool.

Legal environment

  • We have had some initial financial and legal advice: Stellarcarbon is not offering a financial product and doesn’t need a financial services license, as long as we do not suggest that people will have an opportunity to invest in a derivative of carbon credits (VCUs).

Freelance support

  • We need personnel and freelance support, and we want to recruit freelance contributions by offering bounties. We are looking for the right frontend developer to join the team.


Using the Stellar Network, assist to draw down carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 ppm while educating about the need to reduce emissions, and improve the integrity and visibility of the offset process using distributed ledger technology. By increasing the accessibility of voluntary carbon credits we believe normal people can take a more active role in shaping a safer climate for our planet's future. 

CARBON and CarbonSINK tokens

We have an issuing account on Stellar for the token CARBON with following public key:


The distribution account for CARBON must have a balance that equals the total VCUs in Stellarcarbon’s Pool on Verra:


We have also generated a keypair to issue the locked CarbonSINK token:


Finally, we have set up our stellar.toml with the required fields:

Testable API endpoint

We have written the code required to mint CARBON, and to sink it into CarbonSINK. This code is not made public because we are somewhat concerned that it may encourage copycats which are not connected to the Verra Registry, and thus would not support offset projects.

For the benefit of testability, we have provided a very early version of our API endpoint which is used to request XDR for a sinking transaction. This testing version does not sign the XDR in a way that it can be submitted, so we encourage testers to try and break it, find flaws, etc. Of course, we would very much appreciate receiving feedback on such testing.

Double counting

Stellarcarbon needs to ensure that VCUs and CARBON are not double counted. If some company calculates their carbon offset for the year, funds it via CARBON, and subsequently boasts about it to their customers, then it is essential that after receiving this boasting benefit that they cannot sell or forward the CARBON onto anyone else and get their money back. This is addressed by our CarbonSINK token. We also avoid double counting the VCUs that we mint as CARBON by hashing the serial numbers of VCUs and adding that hash as a memo to all CARBON issuance transactions.

Stellar ecosystem value proposition

Stellar’s environmental reputation will benefit from being as carbon-neutral and environment-positive as possible, within its class. To that end, Stellarcarbon initially targets validator and Horizon instance operators. If they can offset the emissions they can’t avoid, that would give other ecosystem participants that depend on them a chance to provide services that do not cause any additional GHG emissions. Over time, we hope that Stellar can gain a reputation as the ledger that can be trusted to record offsetting behaviour in perpetuity. Furthermore, Stellarcarbon helps showcase outstanding Stellar features, such as path payments and the authorised trustlines that are used to lock retired offsets. At a later stage, our implementation may also allow for the trading of unspent carbon tokens on the SDEX and in liquidity pools.

Since the Stellar Consensus Protocol already makes Stellar one of the most efficient public distributed ledger platforms, it is estimated that the offsets required are so small that the Stellar ecosystem could lead the way by going further than being carbon-neutral to being carbon-negative, i.e. beyond zero emissions. Team Stellarcarbon believes this is possible by gradually moving network infrastructure to carbon-negative hosting providers, and we have recently begun talking to to set up a trial.

Target audience

It comes as a surprise to Western cultures that the majority of the 7.7 billion people on Earth grow, harvest, preserve, and cook their own food. Most of these people do not have access to electricity, own a car, or have a bank account. Our target market, therefore, are the 1 billion people who buy food from supermarkets, own a car, travel by air, or pay an electricity bill. Stellarcarbon’s audience consists of the 20% that are causing 80% of the GHG emissions. They have access to technology, the internet, and finance.


Xpollinate is currently financing the project. The intention, however, is to place a margin on the purchased offsets to cover costs including development, and to provide cashflow for purchasing more offsets. Excess funds will also be used to become involved in the development of offset projects and participate more directly in actively drawing down carbon, and to integrate with other Stellar apps such as to help improve the boots-on-the-ground visibility of projects.

Beyond our first 6 months

Bad actors

A bad actor is someone who for example clears rainforest for their business operation and then wants to purchase offsets. While in principle this sounds okay from a carbon accounting perspective, from an ethical and moral perspective clearing forests that usually have high biodiversity, and justifying that by buying offsets, is not acceptable for the NGO community, Stellarcarbon, and our target audience.

Dealing with bad actors is something that may need further consideration if the project gets momentum and wants to keep a good reputation. One possible approach is to have terms and conditions apply to our service, such that CARBON can only be used to offset certain kinds of emissions, e.g. usage of energy, and not deforestation or coal mining. If a bad actor would boast about offsets funded via Stellarcarbon, those offsets that breach the terms of use can be returned to the issuing account, via a clawback operation.

Future carbon projects

Initially Stellarcarbon will select the REDD+ projects to purchase carbon offsets from. We plan to let participants in Stellarcarbon vote on how many funds to direct to each screened project. Stellarcarbon also intends to be a partner in the development of offset projects. There are many examples of projects that could be used for future offsets. A project that we are proposing would deliver approximately 1.3 million tonnes of carbon per year from avoided deforestation: 

Trading: legal and financial advice

For the launch we have been advised by our legal team that we should avoid the risk of CARBON being considered a financial product, by initially not allowing it to be traded. We have been told that there is a very good chance that we can enable free trading of CARBON on the SDEX once we have clarified sufficiently that it is a utility token which does not transfer ownership of Verified Carbon Units.

Voluntary carbon markets are complex and currently inaccessible to our target audience, because each offset project has unique characteristics, and carbon offset credits are therefore not easily priced. By bundling access to offset credits from several high-quality projects into a single token, we help people to voluntarily support offset projects, but this doesn’t yet solve the pricing problem. Allowing CARBON to be traded, e.g. through Automatic Market Makers (AMMs), lets interested parties contribute to fair price discovery of unspent CARBON, taking into account recently acquired offset credits (i.e. their provenance), and the selection of projects into which CARBON can currently be locked as an offset. Further consideration of how to trade carbon tokens is needed, including the tax implications and how this will benefit drawdown targets and the vision.

Low-profit or not-for-profit

Once Stellarcarbon becomes financially viable the intention is to either keep it low-profit with a steering committee, or if it really takes off with an annual turnover of at least $250,000 USD, we plan to set up a non-profit structure with a board comprising of major contributors and others for financial guidance to oversee the ongoing realization of the vision.

Carbon drawdown targets

The current status is that Earth's atmosphere contains planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) gas in excess of approximately 65 parts per million (ppm) or approximately 16% above where it ought to be (350 ppm), to have a safe and stable climate. This CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) are already causing an average global warming increase of approximately 1 degree Celsius or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Human impacts are currently adding approximately 4.6 ppm of CO2 or approximately 1% to the atmosphere each year.  A meaningful short-term 10 year target for this project and a non-negotiable target for humanity is 350 ppm, however, 300 ppm would be ideal. The total is therefore 860,465,116,279 tonnes (and counting) of CO2 to draw down out of the atmosphere. The good news and take-home message is that the net cost of the climate change actions needed to reverse global warming is approximately US$27 trillion over 10 years. The cost of fixing global warming is therefore inherently affordable as this is only approximately 3% of the 10 year total gross world product.

Carbon offset industry analysis

Rather than compensating for ongoing emissions the idea of offsetting while changing habits to reduce emissions is emerging, and this should be encouraged. The ethical way forward for high emitters of greenhouse gases is to reduce or transition away from current emission sources as soon as possible.

There is skepticism by many that the authenticity of some of the offset projects is still not adequate and that fossil fuel companies or land clearing entities (i.e. bad actors with respect to our goals), can abuse the offset system by continuing to emit greenhouse gases without reduction of emissions with one hand while purchasing offsets with the other. The GHG offset industry is addressing issues of transparency for carbon credit markets, and there are certification schemes for the projects and the issuance and retirement of offsets, e.g. via the Verra Registry.

Selecting high-quality offset projects

Working with an Australian contact we have identified a credible project that is recognized by Verra and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance. Stellarcarbon has purchased $3,800 (5,400 AUD) worth of REDD+ offsets for a trial representing approximately 200 tonnes of carbon. These offsets will become visible on the Verra Registry after the transaction is fully cleared.

A key to the future success of offsetting is the validity of the carbon projects, e.g., has a rainforest been replanted or is it still just grazing cattle? Initial discussions have commenced with potential carbon offset projects that could be registered on Verra. Discussions are also in progress with in relation to capturing data in relation to these offset projects to improve the visibility and authenticity of carbon offset projects. In the longer term Stellarcarbon intends to also partner with Earth Observation providers to add multispectral satellite imagery, radar data, and drone footage to the monitoring information that can be shown to users.

While there are many different projects that are registered on Verra to reduce GHG emissions, including fuel stove efficiency, switching fossil fuels for biogas, and so on, a major lead indicator for our future survival is biodiversity.  For this reason, nature-based offset projects—particularly those protecting mature established forests—are considered higher value than energy-related offsets. There have been promising developments on mineral-based carbon sequestration, e.g. to capture CO2 in rock formations with a very low risk of leakage. Team Stellarcarbon has a favorable view of this technology, but it has clear advantages to be used to deal with concentrated CO2 streams from industry, and as such it is currently not suitable for voluntary offsets.

Another category that Stellarcarbon is keeping an eye on is that of agricultural CO2 removal, primarily through soil-based solutions. There are interesting initiatives that certify and monitor agriculture-based offsets using blockchains, such as and Nori, and as these solutions mature and accrue independent studies into their effectiveness, Stellarcarbon may consider to develop bridging functionality to make these offsets available on Stellar. We do not currently prioritize this type of offset, because it finances mostly farming practices in developed countries. The destruction of mature forests around the globe comes at a cost that cannot be compensated with innovative farming practices, and we would like to see the deforestation trend reverse before Stellarcarbon incorporates other types of offsets.

For information on how different kinds of offsets can be priced, please see: CARBON PRICING: What is a carbon credit worth?

Calculating carbon offsets


Stellarcarbon wants to provide a simple tool for individuals to estimate their emissions without gathering personal data. The calculator that we provide on our website runs entirely client-side and does not send user input to our server. Our current demo is based on 3 consumption profiles, which the user can combine to get an indication of their household emissions. We plan to further develop this calculator by providing a broad range of emissions initially, which can be further refined by answering questions about actual consumption behavior. In this design, users are shown a very rough estimate without providing input, which becomes increasingly accurate as more questions are answered. This enables users to provide as much information as they want to the calculator, and they can skip questions as desired. One of the most important inputs will be the user’s approximate geographical location, since there is quite a lot of geographical variation in emission data.

Community organizations and businesses

Given the wide variation between organizations we will provide links to specialized resources that can help to get a more accurate estimate than Stellarcarbon can provide. We will be available to assist with using these tools properly, and to help answer general questions on topics such as how to decide on system (i.e. business) boundaries for the estimate.

Stellar infrastructure operators

A comprehensive study on the energy usage of Stellar validator nodes was conducted earlier this year. There is an SDF blog post available, summarizing the research and its results, and the full thesis containing the information that is needed for an accurate emissions estimate. We plan to coordinate with the author of this study and with SDF to obtain the best available information on the energy usage of both validator nodes and Horizon instances. Based on an initial investigation of the network infrastructure that is operated by Public Node, we expect the energy mix that powers the servers and the hardware specifications of Horizon instances to influence their emissions to a much larger degree than, e.g., the number and type of incoming requests. The purpose of the specialized calculator that we want to develop is twofold: to estimate the current emissions of network infrastructure, and to provide a clear indication of how these emissions can be reduced.

Figure 6: Stellar network infrastructure as shown by


There are many carbon offset providers in the market. Most, however, are not yet using distributed ledger technology, and some of the schemes or providers are questionable in terms of their ethics or effectiveness. Likewise, there are plenty of carbon offset projects but the visibility and transparency of their progress may be questionable. Stellarcarbon addresses these concerns by facilitating transparent accounting, and by helping offset buyers gain insight into the characteristics of specific offset projects.

As far as we can tell, only one credible carbon token has been previously issued on Stellar. Poseidon has been using Stellar as part of their retail-oriented solution for several years, and we admire the work they have done so far. Stellarcarbon has a similar view on providing high-quality nature-based carbon tokens to its clients, but there is not much further overlap. We do not consider Poseidon to be our competitor because their solution targets clients outside of the Stellar ecosystem, whereas Stellarcarbon focuses its efforts on existing Stellar users, and on bringing new users into the ecosystem.

There are several recent initiatives that are similar to ours on other distributed ledgers. Most notably there is the Toucan Protocol which runs on the Polygon Chain. It allows carbon credits on the Verra Registry to be bridged for various on-chain uses, and has been successful in absorbing much of the stagnant supply of credits on Verra. Toucan has chosen to “cancel” VCUs on Verra before they can be bridged, and its on-chain retirement functionality is still in development. This has not been an issue for them so far, because their main user has been Klima DAO, which does not intend to retire credits at all. Klima DAO has an interesting approach to buy as much of the low-quality supply of credits as they can manage, to increase the price floor for corporations that have made climate pledges. Stellarcarbon targets high-quality credits instead, with the intention of making them available to the Stellar ecosystem to actually offset emissions.

Another initiative that is similar to Stellarcarbon is, which is active on the Ethereum blockchain. It does offer functional carbon credit retirements, both on-chain and off-chain, but its documentation goes deeper into tokenomics than it does on carbon offsets. Stellarcarbon’s main advantage is that we are fully based on the much less energy-intensive Stellar Network, and that it is much easier for third parties to build upon and integrate our solution.

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Adam Menary

Co-Founder & Director

Adam has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Hons. He was one of a team of four that established the Freshcut Salad industry in Australia by developing an AUD$ 35M green field site, and subsequently overseeing another. Adam has 30 years of experience in supply chain management and has developed an assortment of related technology solutions.  Adam undertook the first ISO31000 supply chain studies for Beef and Dairy from Australia to the USA, which was tabled as the basis for a bilateral trade agreement under the Bioterrorism Act. Adam has overseen the integration of blockchain technologies into several solutions.  He is passionate about real action on climate change and a co-founder of Beyond Zero Emissions, which has become one of Australia's leading think tanks on climate action. Adam believes that the future salvation of the planet lies in decentralised finance and transparency, and he has supported Public Node as well as invested in the Stellar Network. More recently he has actively participated in AQUA liquidity pools and automated market making. aims to provide a global solution to facilitate education and real climate action by individuals.

Current roles:

Director of several companies

CEO of a Registered Training organisation

CEO of a learning management system provider

Chief Technical Officer, HR Manager, Legal, and process owner of business analytics and QA for a risk management solutions provider

Lead consultant for supply chain entity

Co-Founder of:

  • Beyond Zero Emissions

Independent solutions focused think tank that conducts and publishes research on solutions that unlock economic potential for industries, regions and communities.

  • Eziops

Multi industry mobile risk management system provider delivering solutions for over 2000 Retail Grocery and Department of Defense sites in Australia.

  • Enrolo

White label SaaS learning management system delivered over 500,000 units of competency.

Founder of:

  • Blochchainifier

End to end supply chain analysis tool for integrating blockchain into supply chains.

  • Myclimate Action

Personal action you can take on climate change.

Patron of:

  • Great Forest National Park

Proposal to create a National Park around the city of Melbourne and create 1 billion worth of carbon credits.

Twitter: @AdamMenary

Keybase: @Xpollinate

Reddit: u/xpollinate

Discord: xpollinate#0648

Daniel Fisher

Co-Founder & Advisor

Daniel is the co-founder of Public Node, Stellarmint, and Lumenthropy. Outside of his work within the Stellar ecosystem, he has been an energy economist for over 15 years.

Alex Olieman

Lead Engineer

Alex works as a research programmer at the Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the application of information extraction, specifically entity linking, to improve the accessibility of information and data. Alex is interested in working with large open datasets, and has done much of his work with government archives. In addition to his research work, for the past 8 years he has helped Qollab grow from a 4-person team into a mature product that was recently acquired. He also is an avid open source software contributor, and has been an active participant in the DBpedia community.

Since 2020, Alex has become more active in the Stellar community because he got absolutely hooked on Stellar Quest. He had already been participating in discussions on Keybase for several years, has served as a voter and later as a panelist in previous SCF rounds, became a Public Node member, and has attended Meridian twice — but earning all Stellar Quest badges delivered the final shove for him to start building on Stellar. Alex is a generalist with a background in Industrial Design Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Future Planet Studies, and a Master of Science in Information Studies. Several of Alex’ long-term interests have come together in Stellarcarbon, and he is very much looking forward to spending 3 days a week on its further development, starting in Q1 of 2022.

Discord: convergence#6459

Oli Torfason


Oli is co-founder and CEO of Mojoflower ehf. Mojoflower is building an asset issuance and registry for SMEs. The Mojoflower project is a former recipient of the Stellar Seed fund. Oli is also a board member of the Icelandic blockchain foundation. Oli is passionate about geothermal and sustainability and in Iceland there are currently a number of very inspiring projects that are focusing on carbon and sustainability.

Twitter: @mr_mojoflower

Keybase: @mojoflower