Tuesday Project Spotlight: veritree
Updated: Feb 25
What if you could donate less than $5 to plant a tree in a forest thousands of miles from your home? Your tree would offer carbon offsets to help the environment and provide benefits to local people living near your tree. Many of us would first say, “Absolutely!” But then we might say, “Wait, how do I know that my tree will actually be planted? Or that it will stay planted and not be uprooted?” This issue—verification of global restoration projects—is a big problem in the reforestation community. Without a way to prove that contributions are indeed resulting in trees planted, lack of trust may hinder people’s willingness to get involved in these efforts.
Until now. Enter veritree, a new company using blockchain technology to verify that trees promised are actually planted. Veritree uses blockchain technology to pair work done at the planting site with a digital signature and asset on the blockchain. This allows veritree to store GPS information, photos, and other characteristics necessary to prove that reforestation projects are happening on the ground. To broaden its scope, Veritree is offering this technology to planting organizations, allowing them to “collect, secure and share the data that matters most to them and their donors.”
Veritree is using Cardano‘s on-chain metadata to create this traceable, permanent, and transparent record designed to build trust in the integrity of reforestation projects. This “tree tracking” technology prevents the double counting problem and enables donors to confirm that their contribution has a real-world impact.
This unique example showcases the power of blockchain technology’s potential to solve supply chain and traceability problems. Of course, real world challenges still exist. For example, the “first mile” (1) problem likely requires continued auditing to confirm that on-the-ground data entered on-chain is authentic. Traditional reforestation challenges, including weather interference and continued maintenance, may not have a blockchain solution (yet).
But this creative approach to problem-solving in a critically important environmental use case demonstrates the power of blockchain technology to influence society in a positive way.
How can lawyers get involved? First, plant a tree using veritree! Next, environmental lawyers could consider ways that veritree’s technology might work for their existing and future clients. Lawmakers should also be considering ways to encourage reforestation projects close to home, and regulators could incentivize positive climate action through tax cuts. Attorneys can find numerous ways to get involved in the fight against climate change, and veritree takes us one step closer: confirming that our actions have a real social impact.