WeWork’s Adam Neumann’s plan to put carbon credits on the blockchain

  • Ex-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and his wife are launching a new startup called Flowcarbon.
  • The project aims to use the blockchain to allow companies to trade CO2 certificates with crypto tokens.
  • These tokens were called Goddess Nature Tokens or GNTs.

Carbon trading is getting the crypto treatment, and its latest orchestrator is none other than the eccentric WeWork co-founder.

Three years after his fall as CEO, Adam Neumann is founding a new startup called Flowcarbon that aims to put carbon credits on blockchain technology.

His idea — fueled in part by a $32 million funding round from famed Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz — is to make those carbon credits more accessible and simple using the company’s flagship product, the Goddess Nature Token (GNT). to make tradable. )

Businesses and individuals can use these tokens — each with a real carbon credit — to buy and sell the permits on the blockchain in a decentralized manner, adding transparency to the opaque and contentious process.

The new venture not only marks a turning point for Neumann after his fall, but also for another high-profile tech founder to plunge headlong into the booming Web3 sphere.

What is carbon trading? And where does crypto come into play?

Time Magazine called Richard Sandor the “father of carbon trading” in 2007.

Nora Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty Images


In carbon trading, also known as a voluntary carbon market, companies buy and sell a limited number of government-issued permits that they can “redeem” when they emit carbon.

The idea was to create a constraint of how much carbon business can emit. There are economic incentives – if a company doesn’t use all of its carbon credits, it can sell them to competitors. If it emits too much carbon, it may have to buy more credit, depending on the country.

According to the website, Neumann believes this process is flawed because it is built on an “opaque and fractured market infrastructure” with credit that is difficult to access and brokers that charge sky-high fees. This is where Flowcarbon and GNTs come into play.

Flowcarbon did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, but a spokesman told Vox that the credits represented by the company’s tokens are issued by one of four major carbon credit registries.

According to Flowcarbon and it and his supportersBlockchain is the perfect environment for trading carbon credits due to the inherent transparency of the technology.

Separating the project from the past of its leaders?

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: WeWork Co-Founder and CEO Adam Neumann and Rebekah Paltrow Neumann attend the 2018 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2018 in New York City.

Adam Neumann and his wife Rebekah Neumann are both listed as co-founders of Flowcarbon.

Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for the time being


Critics have long said the carbon trading market is inherently broken, challenging Neumann’s goal of simply making it more achievable in the corporate sector.

And some folks in the carbon trading space aren’t big fans of integrating into the crypto world — Verra, one of the world’s largest carbon credit schemes, said last week that it would not allow its loans to back crypto tokens. It doesn’t help that climate protectors have condemned fundamental aspects of crypto as environmentally unfriendly due to the massive amounts of energy the transactions require.

However, others have found that Web3 is the perfect place for the startup because it can more easily fund projects that could reduce carbon from the atmosphere.

But on top of all that, Neumann oversaw one of tech’s most notorious implosions in 2019 as WeWork prepared for an IPO. The submissions for this offering provided a glimpse of potential financial woes and turmoil at the coworking company. Eventually the deal was snapped and Neumann was ousted as CEO.

A show narrating the debacle, aptly named “WeCrashed,” began airing


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