April 29, 2020
There are many ways in which we can incentivize behavior, probably the most powerful and ubiquitous is money. Our fiat currencies, such as pounds, euros, and dollars, incentivize billions of people around the world every day. It seems then only logical that we should design a new currency to both values and reward ecological action. It is the ECO coin.
What is ECOCoin?
The ECOCoin is a new cryptocurrency that is earned through sustainable action. The ECO coin aims to reward anyone, anywhere in the world carrying out specific actions. Switching to a green energy provider, eating meat-free meals, or riding a bike to work can earn you ECOs which you can spend in our new sustainable marketplace to buy ecological experiences, services, and goods.
ECO coins are stored in special digital wallets accessible through a web browser at first then through a mobile app. A digital wallet can do much more than a physical wallet as it can receive ECOs, store them, and send them to other digital wallets. Wallets can also display information about what sustainable actions can be carried out and where the currency can be spent.
The Total Amount of ECOs Issue
There are currently around three trillion (3,000,000,000,000) trees on the planet. Every ECOCoin in circulation will be backed by a tree. It’s possible to then conclude that the theoretical total supply of ECOs is 3 trillion.
Tree owners can exchange their trees for ECO coins. For every ten trees, one ECO coin will be paid out to the owner. The trees are kept in escrow meaning that the ownership stays with the original owner of the tree, though the tree is placed in the custody of the ECO coin foundation. A small verification fee is paid to verify the validity, existence, and ownership of the trees. This verification fee is paid every 100 years to keep proof of the tree.
How Can I Earn ECOCoins?
There will be a variety of sustainable actions that people can receive ECO coins for carrying out. As time goes on, the community, that is those who use the currency, can add more actions to the system to expand the pool of sustainable actions possible. At the moment, this ECOcoin can be obtained in the following ways:
- Earning. The easiest way to get an ECO coin is to earn it by carrying out a sustainable action.
- Verifying. ECO inspectors can earn ECOs by verifying actions that have taken place.
- Buying. ECOs will be sold for fiat money as part of our Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
- Backing. ECOs can also be exchanged for ecological assets. If you are a tree owner, for every ten trees placed into the ECO coin system, an ECO coin is earned.
- Vending. Certified vendors that sell sustainable products, or accept ECOs will get a small bonus as being part of the marketplace.
- Developing. There will be a bounty program for helping to develop the technical infrastructure as well as helping to grow the community.
See the example of sustainable actions in the table.
How are Actions Verified?
There are currently three ways in which sustainable verification can take place:
- Sensor Integration. Here we look to use the sensors that are already around us. The ECO coin can integrate many smart systems through API protocols so that we can capture actions relating to transportation, energy usage and waste flow to name a few.
- ECO Inspectors. The ECO inspector verifies that sustainable actions are carried out. For this work, they are rewarded with a small number of ECO coins per verification. For example, think of a security guard monitoring a place of work. They can see what goes on and can supplement their income by becoming an ECO inspector, making sure people arrive at the office by bike, grab a meat-free lunch, or recycle their paper.
- Certified Vendors — Many vendors will be able to include the ECO coin into their digital systems and webshops. A vendor is certified when their business has been examined and passes certain sustainable standards. They can then give ECOs for purchasing certain products and can accept them as (part) payment for their goods. This can be managed by the vendor and be verified through purchase receipts if an audit is carried out.
What can I spend ECOs on?
The aim is to both earn in a green way and also spend it in a greenway. It’s best to prioritize then services and experiences over products.
See the example in the table.
At all times, economists have argued that prosperity requires growth, with environmental damage as the regrettable but unavoidable consequence. Our environment is often seen as an external cost or a business externality. These externalities are not well articulated in our current economic outlook. We do not see the enormous value that is all around us.
ECOCoin hopes to direct wealth to help the environment, not harm it. When the ECO coin was first announced, the company said:
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