Poseidon is based in Malta, an up-and-coming global hub of blockchain innovation. It’s the ideal ecosystem for us to place our roots, and draw upon our team’s international experience.
A blockchain can be understood as a series of data snapshots over time. At predefined intervals, let us say every ten seconds, a snapshot of data is taken. This is added to a chain of all previous snapshots, ordered chronologically. Ten seconds later, another is taken, and is added to the end of the chain again. And so on.
We call these snapshots blocks. And, of course, we call the chain a blockchain. Each block contains the state of the data stored in it at that particular time – including details of any changes. Every block gives access to this data, which is stored immutably.
Changes that happen to data in a block (in the blockchain world we call these state changes) must go through a validation process according to rules defined by its consensus mechanism.
Once consensus is reached, the blockchain’s data is shared and stored on many computers around the world. Because there is no single storage point, no single server which needs to be accessed or password which might be cracked, a blockchain cannot be hacked. And because there is no one authority that governs changes to the data, inaccuracy or carelessness cannot compromise it either. You might have seen a blockchain described as a distributed ledger – this is what it means.
Our blockchain technology on the Stellar network completes transactions in a flash and incurs only a negligible cost. What is most important is its efficiency – compared to most blockchain solutions, Stellar uses by far and away less electricity.
When we apply blockchain to carbon markets, we get a system that allows us to store carbon credit details, from creation to offset, like never before. It introduces a level of transparency and traceability that allows anyone to look at the detailed history of each individual gram of carbon credit transacted. It means we can bring carbon markets to the retail level, and empower everyone to offset their purchases instantly.
We use tokens as well as smart contracts on our platform. Tokens are used to facilitate transactions, and it is these tokens that allow us to create micro-transactions. Smart contracts are programs that execute a specific process when certain requirements have been met. We use them for each step of the carbon credit lifecycle and for transactions.
About climate change
Earth’s temperature is maintained by a process called the greenhouse effect. Certain greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide) naturally trap heat in the atmosphere, stopping it from radiating back into space.
Ordinarily, enough heat is trapped to keep the planet at a steady, habitable temperature. But human activity is releasing high quantities of greenhouse gases into the skies. This traps more heat than necessary, which in turn warms the planet, disturbing the balance of nature and threatening life.
Burning fossil fuels is one such act. Deforestation is another. Deforestation also destroys one of our planet’s natural carbon sinks, as trees absorb harmful carbon through photosynthesis.
There will be a point at which the damage – from burning carbon, felling trees, and more – will be irreversible. Consensus has been reached: Climate change is real. Greenhouse gas emission levels are rising rapidly. So too are global average temperatures, and humanity’s actions are at the heart of it.
The consequences are extreme weather events, forest fires, spread of diseases, flooding, and mass migrations, the impacts of which place huge strains on global economies. Climate change is a global phenomenon that affects everyone, no matter who or what is causing it.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provided data which shows that we need to keep the global temperature rise within a ‘safe’ limit of below 2°C. Any higher and we won’t be able to adapt. Their findings influenced the 2015 Paris Agreement, the most significant international treaty on climate change. Its aim is to keep this average rise below 2°C, while aiming for 1.5°C.
195 countries committed to reduce their emissions. However, even if they stick to the plan, a gap of up to 19 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent still remains between what’s needed to hit the 1.5°C target and what’s pledged to be emitted in 2030. This huge gap is equivalent to taking all US homes off the electric grid, all the world’s cars off the road, and removing all global food waste for a year.
With the historic Paris Agreement in place, we are entering a world with a finite ‘budget’ of carbon that can be emitted. A market now exists for carbon-positive ventures which can offset the gases released by outdated industries and harmful enterprises.
Forests alone can contribute to a third of the emission cuts needed by 2030, but we need to protect them. Ecosphere+ recognise how essential forests are, and develop natural solutions that guard and value their pivotal yet underappreciated resource. Their emission reduction projects grant them access to high-quality carbon credits, rooted in the conservation of forests.
What are carbon credits?
A carbon credit is a permit which allows the holder to emit one ton of carbon dioxide. If an emitter doesn’t exhaust its carbon allowance, it may sell its remaining credits. If an emitter exceeds its allowance, it must purchase more to compensate.
Carbon credits are also created and awarded to projects which demonstrably reduce or remove emissions. For each ton of carbon dioxide that is offset, the project receives one carbon credit, which it is then free to trade. Ecosphere+ develop vital projects like these.
Putting a price on carbon in this way is the right solution, but it’s not working. The current market is disjointed, unstandardised and relies on outdated technology. Because buyers don’t trust sellers, they repeat their due diligence, adding expense, wasting time and risking double counting. And since everyone is dealing in tons, microtransactions are near impossible.
This means the market is fundamentally disconnected from the real world. When we buy a product, it’s already responsible for an undefined amount of carbon. Whatever the amount, the damage has been done, and we’re not the ones paying the price – pollution doesn’t occur at the point of sale.
Blockchain technology lets us divide carbon credits into grams, track them transparently, and process microtransactions. It’s an opportunity the world can’t afford to miss. For the first time, you’ll know exactly how much carbon your purchases cost, and just one tap can set them right again. The previously impenetrable carbon market is now yours.
The carbon credits we will be offering do not readily exist. They need to be created by launching an emission reduction project. This process includes establishing a project (Initiated), validation by accredited organizations (Validated), and verification (Verified) by independent parties. Then, carbon emissions caused by consumer products and services are quantified and disclosed by participating retail partners (Attached). This enables consumers to address their carbon footprint by making eligible purchases during which carbon credits are used to offset these emissions (Retired). Currently, these processes are almost entirely manual and take place in isolation. We believe that our blockchain solution can streamline this process and provide a platform that will bring all the moving parts together, creating a paradigm shift in carbon markets.
Carbon’s impact cannot be overstated. Global average temperatures are rising, not enough is being done, and the consequences could be irreparable. Our carbon footprint is far too high, and we need to fix it together.
Every decision has a climate consequence, positive or negative. But can you tell how much carbon your everyday choices result in? In our mind it’s too difficult, even though the answer could save the planet.
For the very first time, our platform empowers everyone to participate in climate action. It links your climate-negative purchase to an equally climate-positive carbon credit, allowing you to offset it instantly.
Poseidon’s platform tracks and manages the entire carbon ecosystem. For users, it will be as simple as opening an app.
It connects consumers and retailers with Ecosphere+'s forest conservation projects around the world, meaning that a product’s carbon footprint can finally be embedded in its sale. The technology empowers everyone to contribute through their everyday purchases – something which has never been possible before.
Behind it lies a blockchain that will revolutionise how the world relates to the carbon. On Stellar’s uniquely efficient network, we can verify carbon credit status in real time, guarantee that consumers are directly supporting emission reduction projects, and settle all-new microtransactions using our native tokens in seconds. The blockchain provides transparency for all purchases and offsets.
The following comparison table shows the tremendous environmental impact of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Interestingly, a transaction on the Stellar network not only uses significantly less electricity than both Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also uses only a fraction of the electricity that a VISA transaction requires.
Our proprietary smart contract solution will hold carbon credits from project inception to retirement. It combines on-chain and off-chain smart contracts to make sure crucial carbon data remains public, without compromising user experience or confidentiality.
Both in-store and online, here’s how Poseidon makes any choice eco-friendly.
- After joining Poseidon, Amy buys a pair of shoes.
- The retailer's POS system shows that the shoes have a carbon impact of 12kg. It adds the price for the required carbon offset to her bill.
- Amy pays using her credit card. The retailer's POS shares her purchase details with Poseidon's backend.
- Poseidon's backend automatically matches the purchase with Amy's profile.
- It purchases Poseidon's native tokens, using Amy's payment.
- Through these native tokens, it then acquires 12kg worth of carbon credits.
- It adds these credits to Amy's profile, updating the blockchain with the transaction details. All these steps happen behind the scenes - Amy's user journey is seamless.
- Within seconds, Amy receives a notification that her shoes are now carbon neutral. To her, they've been offset instantly.
- She looks at her phone, opens up details of the forest-protecting project she has supported, and decides to share on social media.