IBM has announced plans to use the Stellar blockchain in a joint venture with Veridium Labs. The platform will allow for carbon credits to be traded as tokens on the public blockchain.
Whilst carbon credits are themselves nothing new, a decentralised market could provide much-needed transparency to the process of offsetting carbon emissions.
This announcement may be the first in series of new projects by IBM using the Stellar blockchain. In October last year, the tech giant announced it was working with a group of banks to create cross-border payment solutions using the Stellar network. Then, in April, Jesse Lund, IBM’s VP of Blockchain Technologies, hinted at more announcements to come.
Public, yet Permissioned
The Veridium partnership will be the first time IBM is creating a token on a public network. While the network will be public, it won’t be entirely open, as there will still need to be a permissioned component. An IBM spokesperson said the model needed to be “public / permissioned” as some aspects of access to the platform would need to be restricted for regulatory reasons.
The growing importance of Stellar to IBM is significant. Stellar has struggled to compete with Ethereum as a blockchain of choice for decentralised organizations. The vote of confidence from IBM may convince future projects that it is indeed a serious protocol.
The IBM/Stellar combination is increasingly being seen as a potent combination that may challenge Ripple / XRP in the global payment space. In that regard, IBM appears to carry the advantage given its vast number of partnerships with major corporations operating on the international scene.
According to some analysts, IBM’s involvement in a public blockchain project – as opposed to relying on its own private offshoot chain – may also serve up a healthy dose of credibility for the wider crypto-tech experiment.