The TREE Token - World's greenest stablecoin backed by physical forest (carbon offset credit NFT)

Project Name: The TREE Token
Project Track: NFT
Team Name: The TREE Foundation
Team Member(s): 3 - AJTREE, JOHANNATREE
DevPost URL: TREE Foundation | Devpost
Project Goal: TREE offers a new alternative for people and businesses to offset carbon emissions. Instead of buying offset credits, we help you generate them.
Project Info: [Will post more as we go]
Project Website: www.teamtree.xyz
Project Test Instructions: The smart contract for mint/burn (buy/sell) is live on mainnet but disabled at the moment.
Project Details:

Video Intro to TREE: https://youtu.be/3bW5Q7Ya33k

What is TREE and why do we exist?

An increasing number of individuals and companies are pledging to help stop climate change by decreasing emissions and offsetting what they cannot eliminate.

The demand on the voluntary carbon offset market is growing rapidly and is fueled by net-zero pledges. As a result, the annual market for offset credits is expected to grow 50X in the coming 10 years and novel solutions to meet demand are needed. However, the traditional “donation model” does not scale, and insight into how the money is used and its actual impact is limited.

Trees are the most efficient carbon sequesters but due to the high demand of timber and urban growth we still cut more forest than we plant. Investing in forest is considered one of the easiest and most tangible ways to offset carbon emissions but acquiring and managing a forest is costly, a cumbersome process and a long-term commitment. Forest funds are a good alternative and have been around for decades but investing in them is clunky. The notable disadvantages include high minimum investment requirements, annual fees, various ownership related regulations and their illiquid nature.

This is why TREE was founded. A new way of offsetting carbon emissions through forest investment, made accessible to all. TREE is an asset backed digital token where every coin is backed by

1 m2 of forest, owned and managed by the TREE Foundation. It is a stable and green investment through which individuals and companies alike can positively impact their carbon footprint and be part of a new movement to combat climate change and preserve biodiversity. Buying TREE coins enables the TREE Foundation to acquire high quality forest land for carbon sequestering and conservation and through staking of the TREE coins the TREE coin holders can generate legitimate carbon offset credits - in the form of NFTs - which they can retire, gift or sell.

Through utilizing blockchain technology TREE simplifies buying, owning and selling forest. The token model and its inclusive access creates huge economies of scale.

What does TREE look like under the hood?

TREE token is a stablecoin, with a fixed price of $0.50/token and minted on demand to ensure scalability. Every coin is backed by 1m2 of carbon sequestering forest, owned and managed by the token issuer, the TREE Foundation. The TREE Foundation is in the process of producing the world’s first continuous asset audit based on the ISRS 4400 (tokens vs forest holdings) with one of the big four auditors. We believe this added transparency will allow us to reach a wider audience of token holders and especially business clients who are looking for a scalable and cost-effective way to offset their emissions.

Technically TREE is very simple. We use smart contracts for minting, buying & selling tokens. The same goes for staking coins and minting NFTs as offset credits mature.

A blackhole wallet is used for retiring the credits so there is always 100% transparency into what is minted, retired, traded, and sold.

At launch we will only support crypto payments for acquiring tokens but very soon we will start accepting fiat payments (debit / wire). A TREE holder doesn’t have to be a seasoned crypto veteran or even have their own wallet. We allow users to create a wallet connected to their phone number, so familiarity with web3 is not required in order to join TREE.

TREE’s Business Model & Value Proposition

The demand for carbon offset is growing rapidly. Currently the market of offset services faces criticism of uncertainty as to their effectiveness. Planting a tree in Africa sounds great but what if it gets chopped down and is used as fuel (like 70% of trees in Africa)? The carbon your tree sequestered gets released back into the atmosphere and your impact on fighting climate change is annihilated.

TREE offers a novel, cost effective and transparent alternative. Instead of buying offset you can be generating it. This is how it works:

1. Buy TREE tokens. The TREE tokens are a highly liquid and stable asset. They are backed by forest (land) which is a much more stable asset than e.g. gold, and the price is fixed. One TREE token is always backed by 1m2 of land and we provide regular audits for an extra layer of transparency.

2. Stake TREE tokens. By staking your tokens you generate carbon offset credits. Credits are minted as NFTs and are typically valid for 3 years from mint. The TREE Foundation owns and controls all its forest and hence can guarantee the carbon sequestered is permanently removed. The public ledger guarantees the validity of all credits.

3. Retire, gift, or sell carbon credit NFTs. Many holders want to offset their carbon footprint so they can retire their offset credit NFTs after they have been minted. If the holders generate more than they need, they can gift them (e.g. to employees or family members) or hold on to them. The value of the offset credit NFTs is expected to grow with demand. A third alternative is selling the NFTs to non-holders or undercompensating holders.TREE is constantly innovating new use cases for its tokens and NFTs to match developing market demands e.g. as carbon offsetting may become mandatory.

TREE will build its own marketplace, the TREE Platform, but is looking into listing the utility NFTs on already popular marketplaces.

The TREE Foundation makes its revenue from transactions of the tokens (1% per transaction), sales of unallocated offset credits (generated by non-staked tokens) and through a sales commission (20%) on offset credit NFTs sold through the TREE Platform.

Is TREE user friendly?

The objective behind TREE is to offer something that is in high demand globally and anyone and everyone is the target group - a stable; liquid and; green investment. Therefore the user experience is being designed so that no previous blockchain/crypto experience is required and to attract also crypto skeptics.

To become a TREE holder you don’t have to know what blockchain is. Our intuitive user interface will allow people to buy with their debit card like they were shopping online. The “new to crypto” users only need to give us their phone number and all communication can be done via SMS. For the “crypto veterans” acquiring TREE is like using a standard swap.

Practicality & Use Case

TREE was founded to give environmentally conscious people a new way to take action in the fight against climate change. The demand for carbon offsetting is rapidly growing and TREE tackles many of the problems current players battle with (e.g. cost, impact and transparency). For companies carbon offsetting is today, in accounting terms, a cost.TREE turns it into an asset. An asset that yields offset credits.

Imagine if exchanging some US dollars to Euro would pay for your electric bill. That’s exactly what TREE does for your carbon offset costs. You can easily exchange it back when needed, and all this without taking a currency exchange risk.

Tron being the blockchain of choice for TREE will create some great long term benefits for its community. This type of project is highly interesting from a media perspective so it will definitely increase Tron’s visibility. TREE choosing to build its platform on Tron is a testimony of its developer friendliness. TREE is a great case study for demonstrating how blockchain technology can be utilized to simplify complex transactional work (like automatically minting offset NFTs to token stakers) and increasing transparency and trust in a fund-like corporate constellation.

We obviously also want to become the defacto offset partner for all crypto projects to help eliminate the (sometimes unfair) emission stigma the industry carries.

How does TREE contribute to the larger Crypto Ecosystem?

On top of our main mission - helping people offset their carbon emissions in a smarter way - we want to be educators and a low barrier entry point into the crypto and blockchain world.

We feel like blockchain projects often are over mystifying themselves by using industry specific lingo and hence making many things harder to understand than what they in reality are. We designed TREE from a perspective where our users do not even have to know they own cryptocurrency and transact through smart contracts and that their carbon offset credits are actually transactable NFTs that can instantly be verified as genuine and sold on various marketplaces around the world thanks to it being a non-fungible token on a blockchain.

Project Milestones:

  • Staking contract to earn offset NFTs
  • NFT minting contract
  • NFT visual design
  • Proof of Reserves - An ISRS 4400 (or equivalent) voluntary audit for validating that foundations forest ownership matches tokens in circulation.
  • Launch swap UI on website
  • Go live and start trading
19 Likes

Example of an environmental friendly project which will help tackle the emission of CO​:dancer::dancer::dancer:

1 Like

Hi,
I love projects that bring real usecases to nft’s and environnement is a very important topic. Not only for businesses but for everybody :+1:

I would like to ask you few questions about it:

  • In which country is the forest that will back the TREE NFT’s and is the TREE foundation legal entity going to be set up in that same country?
  • How is your project different than some of the other carbon credit tokens?

@Simon take a look at that project. I know you like the non-monkey nft’s with an environnemental usecase :wink::muscle:

2 Likes

Since one token equals 1sqm of forest, how can you make it worth a fixed amount of money? Land, as any other good, has price variation over time. If you fix the value of the token you might end up with a token that is overvalued or undervalued.

3 Likes

Really interesting usecase! I’ll follow up on this one.
At which stage is your project currently?

1 Like

Hi and thanks for checking out TREE! Both are great and very valid questions.

  • In which country is the forest that will back the TREE NFT’s and is the TREE foundation legal entity going to be set up in that same country?

// The foundations first lot of forest is in northern Finland. We have current 2 new lots under negotiation, one in Finland and one in Sweden. Why we have chose to start with these jurisdictions is due to ease of admin work and access to government verification with the carbon sequestering. We are open to other countries as well but Finland and Sweden are the most forest rich countries in Europe so it makes sense to start there.

Voluntary carbon credits are not geographically fixed in anyway. You are not bound by any law to offset your emissions so anyone choosing to do so can select any program anywhere in the world.

  • How is your project different than some of the other carbon credit tokens?

//Most other carbon credit tokens are typically backed by the carbon credit it self. They work together with a company selling credits and turn them into tokens. The TREE coin is backed by the forest that generates carbon offset credits in form of NFTs. In other words, TREE token is not an arbitrage case (like most other carbon tokens) but rather a stake and earn player.

Hope this answered your questions!

Hi again and thank you for your answers!
Those answers actually brought more questions to my mind :smiley:

If as an individual and not a company I want to buy your nft with the purpose of staking it to, later, sell the carbon credits generated, I will use your own marketplace since your marketplace will be specialized in that field. I don’t see myself going to opensea or any other platform to sell the carbon credit. Do you have some contacts or are you going to contact some companies that are not especially interested in minting nft’s but could purchase the carbon credit on your platform? I guess I could find someone to buy it but I don’t really know how to explain to a company that I own an nft backed by 1m2 of forest and that my carbon credit is valid :sweat_smile:

If as a company I mint your nft instead of one of those other nft’s backed directly by carbon credits, what does it change concretely except maybe the price?

Thanks again!

2 Likes

Hi and thanks for checking in our project! Great question and a very valid point, something we actually spent a fair time figuring out.

A long answer to a short question :slight_smile: TREE is set up as a foundation that owns, manages and develops all the forest it holds. When you buy on TREE token it represents (and is backed by) 1 square meter of that land. For practical reason you don’t own it, the foundation does. You receive all the carbon credits it generates so for this purpose our model is actually much easier than buying your own land.

Owning land (especially productive forest land) is heavily regulated all over the world. It’s hard for non-residents to buy land in a foreign land and even if you are local, the process is quite cumbersome. We eliminate all this through our token model.

The foundation structure means that 1 token = 1 m2 and the price (sell and buy) is fixed at $0.50/token (minus transaction fee 1%). You never buy a specific square meter but just one from the total reserve. When we buy land even our purchase prices vary a lot depending on the productivity of the forest. Our key metric is the “carbon removal by hectare”. We want to keep that at +10 tons per hectare (currently around 12 t/h).

Sorry for the long answer, hope it cleared up things!

Thank you! We are currently ramping things up. The foundation has its first 600 000m2 of forest. Our swap smart contract is live on mainnet (mint/burn disabled). We will start launching some content in the coming week and then soft launch during December.

I guess it’s a good sign that you have more questions :slight_smile:

Ok so first to clarify, you buy TREE tokens, stake them and receive the offset credit as an NFT. The NFT represents now the carbon offset the TREE foundation has generated. Since this is on the blockchain it’s easy to verify that we are not “over generating” credits and what ever happens to the NFT can be verified, i.e. if a person or company claims they have “retired” a credit (which is the main goal of these credits) it can easily be verified.

Our own marketplace is on the roadmap for 2023. It’s important that we have a place where token holders can sell their NFTs and businesses also buy credits as you rarely know in advance how big your carbon footprint for a given year will be and even if you hold and stake TREE tokens you might need to buy some extra offset to match your emissions.

You can of course sell the NFT where ever you want and we have already spoken with some platforms but as you already highlighted it’s hard for a user to explain something new. We will invest heavily into content and marketing so that TREE, it’s NFT’s and how it all works becomes known. One day you hopefully won’t need to explain :grin:

1 Like

Hola, por lo que yo entiendo segĂşn su explicaciĂłn, el NFT serĂ­a como una acciĂłn cuando sale en bolsa, en el cual una vez adquirido darĂ­a unos porcentajes que podrĂ­an ser positivos o negativos, segĂşn emisiĂłn y mercado. Âż Es asĂ­ ?. Gracias

2 Likes

@antonio

Hola, siento tener que usar el traductor de Google para esto, pero no, TREE es una “moneda estable” y no se ve afectado por el valor del bosque. Cada ficha TREE está respaldada por 1 metro cuadrado de bosque en poder de la fundación. Este es el único modelo escalable que no se considera una seguridad y que permite el acceso a TREE para todos, no solo para los ciudadanos del mismo país en el que se encuentra un bosque específico.

Los NFT que generan los tokens (cuando se apuestan) obviamente pueden fluctuar en valor. No hay un precio global del mercado al contado de los créditos de compensación de carbono. Dicho esto, cuantas más empresas quieran compensar sus emisiones, más demanda habrá de los créditos y su precio normalmente sigue a eso. ¿Espero que esto sea comprensible?

If this makes no sense, I can write in English :joy:

2 Likes

Interesante estaré pendiente de este proyecto

1 Like

Hola, gracias por su anotaciĂłn, lo he comprendido perfectamente. Un saludo

1 Like

@AJTREE interesting as there is another green project in the hackathon with a very similar concept :thinking:

Hi @fabsltsa yes saw similar concept and thought this was an update?

Willow is plant a tree and mint an nft.

Here the concept is to buy a nft backed by a meter square of forest. The trees already exist. The point is to stake them to generate carbon credits that can be sold to e.g. companies that want to lower their carbon footprint.

1 Like

Hi Simon, yes, there are dozens if not hundreds of companies in this space. Obviously most are not utilizing blockchain (which we think adds a vital layer of transparency) and many might look very similar even if they really aren’t.

The fundamental difference with TREE and the project you linked to is that our NFTs are “carbon offset credits” - certificates of offset, while (as far Incan understand) the other one is a certificate of ownership of a tree.

We are very much focused on the corporate offset business (even if open to private persons) - businesses aiming to get to net-zero with their emissions. For them we offer a novel alternative to buying offset credits. We do this through our foundation managed forest program. You buy TREE tokens, stake them and in exchange generate offset credits (produced by the forest) in form of NFTs.

We have “full lifecycle control” of the trees. Plant new ones, manage and develop existing and finally donate/sell mature trees to partners who e.g. build wood cabins (hence locking in the carbon sequestered by the trees). This part of the equation is something many tree/forest based projects are lacking and with approximately 60% of trees ending up as fuel (global average) it’s becoming increasingly important to manage. The only scalable way to have 100% lifecycle control is through owning the forest yourself.

The TREE foundation has over 60 000 mature trees on its forest plots (mainly pine but also spruce and some others). Selling a specific tree to person would not scale in our case.

There is actually a Danish company who is doing a similar model (non-blockchain) as your reference project and they are charging around $20-$30 per tree planted. It will how ever take 30-40 years for them to mature and if your tree is of high quality (only 5-15% typically are) you could sell it for $400-$900. When you add up everything your “speculative” yield is pretty low and then you have to calculate in the odds of this company still being around in 40 years when it’s time to harvest.

The truth of the matter is that all projects helping fight climate change are needed. No one knows how the world will look like in 10 or 20 years but I’m pretty sure no one will say “I wish there was less forest on this planet”.