First-of-its-kind investment platform cast to issue tokenized carbon credits

Dr Manuel Piñuela, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Cultivo

The International Finance Corporation, Cultivo, Aspiration, and Chia Network, announced the Carbon Opportunities Fund (the Fund), an investment platform that will raise private capital for an innovative model to source, tokenize and sell high-quality, verified carbon credits.

What is the purpose of the fund?

The Fund will seek to catalyse investments in the voluntary carbon markets and broaden access to finance for nature-based projects certified by leading international standards bodies. This new model for the carbon trading ecosystem will deploy innovative technologies to help identify, monitor, evaluate and natively tokenize verified carbon credits.

Cultivo and Aspiration, originators and investors in nature-based carbon credits, will lead the Fund’s strategy and execution. Cultivo’s data-driven technologies will identify nature-based projects that recurrently produce high-quality carbon credits. As one of the anchor investors, Aspiration will advise on the selection of carbon credits projects and Fund investments.

As the Fund’s carbon credits are tokenized, they will be tracked by the World Bank’s Climate Warehouse, which was launched on Chia’s public blockchain, as the foundational architecture to build market trust by enhancing transparency and securing the integrity of carbon trading.

What are the stakeholders’ thoughts on the fund?

“This deal will foster the standardization of carbon credits in emerging markets and help mitigate climate change,” said Paulo de Bolle, Global Director, Financial Institutions Group, IFC.

“Nature-based solutions can deliver up to 40% of the carbon removal required to combat the climate crisis. This framework that will use new blockchain tech is an innovative way for capital markets to engage in carbon credit trading in a secure, fair, and beneficial manner.”

Andrei Cherny, Co-Founder and CEO of Aspiration, further noted, “Aspiration is excited to be the first anchor investor of this IFC platform to scale the voluntary carbon markets.”

“We look forward to contributing the insight we have from the significant global investments we have made into carbon credits projects around the world to advise and guide this institutional-quality platform to accelerate near-term, scalable investments into nature-based solutions that can meet the growing demands of large corporate and government buyers.”

Dr Manuel Piñuela, Co-Founder and CEO of Cultivo, commented, “We are proud to be partnering with the IFC, Chia Network and Aspiration to bring this new platform together. Cultivo’s proprietary technology and data-driven selection process enables us to select high-quality nature-based projects that meet the high benchmarks necessary for the tokens.”

“The platform will also provide an important source of sustainable income for local communities in emerging markets to protect and regenerate vital ecosystems that are essential for the communities and our planet’s health,” Dr Manuel Piñuela further said.

“This platform is a critical collaborative effort to address the Climate Crisis, one of the most consequential issues facing the world today. IFC is driving meaningful innovation in sustainable carbon finance, and we stand in support,” said Gene Hoffman, Chia Network COO.

“The Chia tech shows the value of blockchain infrastructure for financial markets instruments, only made possible through a sustainable, secure, and compliant public blockchain network.”

Aspiration has entered into a merger agreement with InterPrivate III Financial Partners Inc., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition firm, which, upon closing, will result in Aspiration becoming a listed firm as a Public Benefit Corporation, building on Aspiration’s commitments to generate social and public good and operate in a responsible and sustainable manner.