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New Retail Loyalty Program Uses Blockchain to Encourage Eco-Friendly Choices

from wikipedia forest

While blockchain technology is best known in FinTech, it applies to eco-friendly living. The ability for blockchain to enable secure, fast, peer to peer transactions will see its use become widely prevalent over the next few years.

Earn tokens for caring about the environment

Still in its infancy, CarbonX plans to buy carbon credits (Certified Emission Reduction Credits), through the United Nations scheme REDD+, and turn them into a digital coin called CarbonX Tokens (CxTs).

CarbonX purchases the carbon credits on behalf of retailers and manufacturers, turning them into CxTs. Consumers receive the new token as a reward for their sustainable shopping choices.

Consumers, for instance, earn CxT’s for making carbon reducing choices such as purchasing locally-grown produce or buying an energy-saving household appliance.

The CxT tokens earned by individuals are exchangeable for carbon-friendly products and services, other reward program points, or even other digital currencies.

For CarbonX, blockchain technology logs transactions, enabling a CarbonX platform and consumer application where users trade CxT tokens. CarbonX predict that blockchain will make retail loyalty schemes less expensive to manage and more decentralized.

Like other retail loyalty programs, CarbonX will also record data on consumer choices and energy uses. This data is accessible for CarbonX partner retailers and service providers, and used to target customers with products they are more likely to buy.

A tangled blockchain web

CarbonX is a Canadian venture by blockchain magnates Don and Alex Tapscott, working with blockchain company ConsenSys. 

Joseph Lubin, founder of Consensys, is also a member of the Muskoka Group alongside the Tapscotts. Members of the Muskoka Group – and Consensys – are also founding members of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA).

Bill Tapscott, member of the Investment Committee of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, and Jane Ricciardelli, a loyalty industry expert, are also founding partners.

“CarbonX will engage millions of people in fighting climate change by materially rewarding responsible behaviours,” Tapscott said. “CarbonX will [invest] in carbon reduction projects and re-casting generated offsets as ERC20 tokens on an Ethereum Blockchain..”

The future of carbon control and retail loyalty schemes?

CarbonX is still in it’s infancy. Latest news indicates they will announce their first partners by mid-2018. Hopefully they will also include a version of the CarbonX application in the announcement.

Personal carbon trading schemes intend to reward positive environmental choices. These schemes, however, tend to have low rewards and, consequently, low adoption.

CarbonX aims to overcome this by rewarding customers with a digital token, or currency.

Tracking transactions across multiple sources is a complex challenge for customer loyalty programs. A challenge which may now have a solution via the shared, open ledgers blockchains provide.


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


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