When you cut a tree and sell the wood you will earn money. When you plant a tree you are creating value but you won’t get paid. What if there was a new currency to reward sustainable actions? There is, and we call it the ECO Coin.
ECO coins can be earned through sustainable action. These are usually specific to the context. Think eating a meat free lunch, biking to work or recycling your plastic cup at a music festival. In the end the community will decide what is most valuable to them. Over time sustainable actions will become the new normal and more ambitious sustainable actions will be added to the economy.
ECO coins can then be spent spent on sustainable products, services and experiences. For instance, in a city you may be able to rent a bike for an hour for a few ECOs, while in a rural community you could get discounts at the farmers market on locally grown fruit and vegetable. It could also be new songs, films and access to the latest and most desirable events and talks and workshops.
Festivals are a great place to both earn and spend ECOs as they have everything that you would find and need in a city: food, drinks, electricity, waste streams, fun activities. With ECO coin its easy for event organisers to engage their audience and become more sustainable together.
Many hotels can now be joined up into one sustainable economy with the ECO coin. Earn some ECOs in one city and spend them at another hotel in another city. A hotel implementation also enables the hotel to connect to local sustainable suppliers around them, giving visitors a unique eco adventure.
Challenge employees to chose sustainable decisions on a daily basis. Incentivise green transport to and from work, employees to participate in workshops or eat meat-free lunches. Different departments can even challenge each other to be the most sustainable in the office.
Sometimes the more sustainable purchase is the more expensive one. Well why not reward sustainable customers with some ECO coins. Retailers can also accept ECOs as (part) payment for their products. This is a new way to create a green campaign and get your products connected to sustainable consumers.
University campuses are alive with the next generation of sustainable thinkers who are ready to take action now. Implementation can be co-created with students so that they decide what actions are deemed worthy. Perhaps one day we will see the amount of ECOs a student has earned on their CV as a sign of their green credentials.
There are many sustainable apps, startups and platforms already out there. These can be integrated into the ECO coin marketplace so that you can earn ECOs through a recycling app, and spend coins on renting a movie online. The more places ECOs can be earned and spent, the more valuable it will become.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO FAR
WHY MAKE THE ECO COIN A CRYPTOCURRENCY
Blockchain technology allows the ECO coin to do some pretty amazing things. It will help us to scale the currency so that anyone, anywhere in the world can earn and spend ECOs.
BACKED BY SUSTAINABLE ASSETS
Every ECO coin is backed by a tree but how does this work? Trees can be exchanged into the system for ECO coins. The trees are kept in escrow meaning that the ownership stays with the original owner of the tree, though the tree is placed in custody of the ECO coin foundation.
A LIVING COIN
A tree is a living entity that is born and will inevitably also die. Hence, in order to maintain a connection between the tree and the coin, the lifespan of the coin will also be finite. Every ECO coin slightly deteriorates with a small percentage to match it with the average lifespan of the tree that is backing it. This is called demurrage and is a completely new way to look at money.
A DEMOCRATIC CURRENCY
The ECO coin network will not be controlled by one single party but by the ECO community who uses it. This will work by utilising the blockchain to create a Decentralised Autonomous Charity (DAC) whereby holders of ECO coins will also have a vote in the development and direction of the platform and currency.
The ECO coin has been under development since 2009. We have trialled the currency in many different contexts through our living labs to build a community around the project. Going forward we have ambitions to take on investment so that we can further build the platform, reach many more and balance economy and ecology.
HOW TO INVEST IN THE ECO COIN
The ECO coin has been under development for a number of years already. We have trialled the currency in many different contexts through our living labs to build a community around the project. Investment is possible in both Trees and fiat money (euros, dollars, yen etc). More information on how to invest your trees or money will be available in the coming weeks. To stay up to date with out latest developments you can also sign up to our newsletter here.
Invest with Trees
Tree owners can exchange their trees for ECO coins. The trees are kept in escrow meaning that the ownership stays with the original owner of the tree, though the tree is placed in custody of the ECO coin foundation.
Invest with Money
ECOs will also be sold for fiat currencies. The money raised will fund the development of the ECO coin platform as well as guaranteeing that for every ECO coin in circulation, a Tree is backing it.