What’s happening at Carboncoin? An interview with Chris Carbon

Carboncoin ($CARBON) has been in existence since February 2014 now and it’s aim is to provide a crypto currency that can be run on an eco friendly framework and also pay back to the environment by planting trees across the World.

On the surface little seems to have happened in the project for quite a while, but that has masked the developments that have been going on out of sight.

A member of the community known as Chris Carbon is driving the rejuvenation of the coin and things are starting to happen fast. One of the key things needed is investment and to this end an ICO is imminent. This will involve the issuance of two forms of standard Ethereum token, one form for the existing holders and the preICO, and the other for the ICO itself. The first, an ERC20 token called Carboncoin Eth (CCE) is live on the Ethereum blockchain and is intended to be a placeholder for existing network participants until the fundraise is completed and the new network is released. Once ready these CCE, and tokens bought in the ICO will be exchanged for coins in the new network.

Existing CARBON holders can get into the new coin ahead of the ICO by exchanging half their stash for the corresponding amount of tokens.

I caught up with Chris to ask him about what’s going on.

Me: Hi Chris, Carboncoin is nothing to do with carbon credits is it?

Chris:  That’s a good question! As it stands at the moment Carboncoin has two main objectives as an entity

1) To remove the energy consumption from the Bitcoin technology while remaining as similar in terms of functionality, operation and legality as possible.

2) To keep an amount of coins we call our environmental wallet to one side to be released when they can have as beneficial an impact as possible:

Imagine if, before Bitcoin’s value went the way it has done, someone openly got a substantial number of large coin donations into a wallet to be spent doing good things for the environment. That could make a real difference if the coin then got adopted.

We looked into Carbon Credits at length, due to the obvious application of blockchain technology to the field. We found a lot wrong with the industry so we decided to stick to what we knew worked: Bitcoin, and what we knew was the true motive behind Carbon Credits: looking after our habitat.

In the course of our research we encountered a lot of good people deployed doing great things for the environment and requiring funding to do so. It is absolutely our intention to do as much as we can to support those people.

The new version will increase funding to those projects in the Carbon Credits markets which we feel are aligned to our ethos.

Me: how long have you been working on these developments now?

Chris:   It’s safe to say I’ve been around since the genesis of the network, although neither myself, nor anyone else I know of, knows anything of the issuer of tokens (our very own Satoshi Nakamoto)

Me: once up and fully running how many trees a year do you hope to get planted?

Chris:   As many as it is possible for us to! We can get trees planted by third parties for £4-5 per tree in the developed world, substantially less than that in developing countries, and even less if we do it ourselves.

Part of the funds we are looking to raise are to be spent on a flagship site to establish best practices for every aspect of the initiative going forward. Not only will this site become a biodiverse forest, our calculations show it should be possible for it, and all other sites we set up, to expand independently of funding from the currency.

“As many as we can” is not to say we’ll be doing anything silly – we want to see biodiverse forest on land that isn’t being used for anything else – we’re out to do good things, clean air, clean watercourses, regenerate soil – we’re not trying to do anything more disruptive than that.

Me: When will the white paper be available?

Chris: The original idea is quite simple. Secure the bitcoin technology at low hashrates having removed the built-in incentive for competitive energy consumption, grow the user base and encourage use of the coin for payments (which is harder than it sounds), then take the coins that we have set aside and directly plant biodiverse forest using the best knowledge available for doing so, and supporting other projects doing the same thing, or otherwise helping to maintain the planet that we live on.

The scope of the explanation of an *actually* benevolent technology is very wide. Our justifications come from disciplines as far reaching as philosophy through natural sciences, before you even get to economics and money theory. It is not without many attempts that the white paper remains incomplete. Dyslexia may have something to do with it also.

The idea is very simple: Bitcoin, and all of the benefits of a financial system that is independent of any political governance, but without the energy consumption and with a direct and increasing flow of funds to environmental conservation – supporting Mother Nature and helping to reduce the damaging impact that humans continue to have on the planet, by doing things that are absolutely good for it.

Since we started work technology has moved on substantially. There are now many features we can add into a new blockchain which will make us a more effective payment system and assist us in achieving widespread adoption. I should also add that is has been frustrating to watch how little we have actually achieved for the environment since we started. Our ICO will give a huge boost to our development, distribution and the environmental initiative.

In summary:

  • For the damage humanity is doing to the environment: see the justification for the Carbon Credits initiative
  • For the benefits of biodiverse forestry: see research on Rainforests/Carbon Sinks
  • For the technological benefits of a self regulating payment system: see the Bitcoin whitepaper.
  • For the potential good that we can do: see the price of Bitcoin.

Me: How much are you hoping to raise in the ICO?

Chris: We’re doing the ICO to kickstart the project, because the world needs this to work. We’ve got quite far trying to make it happen without formal funding, but progress is slower than that which is really needed by everyone. The funds raised will enable our payment system to compete on the world stage.

Our ICO is for tokens which will be redeemable for half of our total coin circulation (so half of 16 Billion coins). If we are successful we will raise $10M from the sale of these tokens.

The market capitalisation of existing coins only needs to multiply some 20x for our ICO supporters to break into profit. Hitting this fundraising target will mean we can multiply our active user base by more than 20 – it doesn’t take much imagination or knowledge of the network effect to see the business case here.

Me: So what is the plan, what are the significant areas you are going to invest in?

Chris: Our plan is to deploy half of the funds raised to acquiring the flagship site and providing it with the facilities it needs to become a biodiverse forest and conduct all the research into biodiverse afforestation we feel is lacking in the current state of the art.

The other half of the funds will be deployed in the running of the organisation which makes it happen. We have many developers who are very keen to help us full time when they can be paid enough money to eat. They will be tasked with bringing the new version of carboncoin up to the state of the art for our use case, operating securely and efficiently as a payment system with a distributed ledger, and ensuring that we are always able to meet our transaction volume requirements.

We have a complete business model for distributing the technology in the real world. This business requires staff at every level, and it will be scaled so that we are able to cross the chasm, however long that takes.

Me: will the CCE tokens be tradeable or will they be locked until they get swapped out when work is completed?

Chris: We aren’t exercising any control over the CCE tokens, other than at initial delivery. Users must evidence their holdings so that they qualify to exchange half of their holdings for tokens. Users are free to do as they wish with their coins and tokens but we recommend that users keep hold of both.

The existing Carboncoin network has operated for coming up to four years, it is still very fast and the full client fits on substantially less than 1GB of hard disk space. Indeed we have approximately eight times the transaction capacity of legacy Bitcoin at the moment, and all on less energy than your average electric kettle.

New coins will only be exchangeable for CCE tokens and the ICO tokens. To exchange existing coins for tokens, users must be able to demonstrate ownership of their entire holdings, and they will qualify to exchange no more than 50% of those.

We are not approaching any exchanges to list the CCE tokens, and the other tokens will be smart contacts operating independently of exchanges. If exchanges wish to list either of our tokens, or the original coin then we will not hinder them from doing so. They exist to satisfy the demand of their customers and if they find a business case for listing any of our assets the who are we to stop them.

Me: What will be the big changes that the new development will bring?

Chris: We’ll be able to build everything we’ve designed! Our existing core will be maintained and improved. Our new core will take the best developments in crypto – specifically to do with payment functionality, add our custom carbon-credit-style* interface, and our decentralised consensus mechanism to create an autonomous system for making money flow to people who do good things for the planet.

We have an extensive range of services waiting to be built also. It should not take long for things to get rather exciting.

Me: So what happens to the existing CARBON that has been traded in for the token?

Chris: The plan is for the Carboncoin swapped for CCE to be given away as bonus to new ICO participants at the conclusion of the ICO.

This means every ICO supporter will become an existing network user as soon as the fundraise is completed. Adding the number of users we hope to in this process has the potential to enable ICO participants to break into profit even before the new network is deployed.

We will also be awarding some coins and tokens as bounties to anyone who wishes to help us with the huge amount of work we have to do at this time.

Me: Will the development as a result of the investment be on the existing CARBON network?

Chris: We will be maintaining the network and doing what is required to keep it secure. We will continue to do so, and to innovate on this network, in the course of our future operations.

The ICO is to fund the development of an improved network and our environmental testbed/flagship biodiverse forest.

Me: If a new platform is developed, what happens to the existing CARBON network and the coins?

Chris: Our plan is to maintain the network and the security of the coins into the future. Our environmental ethos is paramount.

Me: What will happen to any CCE tokens that remain unclaimed after the swap out?

Chris: They will be sold as a Pre-ICO to help fund the ICO and initial development

Me: And when is the ICO?

Chris:  we’re aiming for mid January, but there’s lots to do first

Me: So, if I’m a CARBON holder how do I exchange my coins for the token? Can I do it from YoBit or do I need a local wallet?

Chris: To exchange existing coins for tokens you have to contact us directly. The best way to do this is by contacting us on twitter (@truecarboncoin) or facebook.com/carboncoin to request an invitation.

You will need access to your coins, the ability to send them and an Ethereum client capable of viewing and receiving custom tokens. A web based service such as myetherwallet.com is suitable for this.

You need to do the swap by Midnight (GMT) on the 21st December 2017.

Me: Many thanks for your time Chris, let’s hope a lot of people get behind this.

Find out more and get involved at:


Disclosure: I hold Carboncoin and CCE

The articles on this site are opinions and for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be investment advice.  Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

© copyright 2017 Russell Weetch


A dozen things I want to know about your ICO

ICOs are now a huge part of the crypto landscape. So many are appearing each day that it is impossible to keep up now.

My original article on how I find ICOs is almost antiquated even though it is less that 2 months old. While I still glance through lists it is hard to identify how I actually find them, perhaps I should keep a record (that is way too sensible).

When I do find a project I am interested in these are the questions I am looking for you to answer and in this order. Now, you might not answer them all, but someone will take a look and try to. I’m just going to give you brownie points if you don’t make me hunt it all down – that’s not to say I won’t cross check 😉

  1. What is the aim of your project?
  2. What benefits does the Blockchain bring to the project? Why is it the most appropriate solution?
  3. Why does it need it’s own token? Why can’t it just use Ethereum or another token for payment – or maybe just credit card would be best?
  4. Do you have a product/prototype/just a white paper?
  5. Who’s on the team?
  6. Who are your advisors? Why are they your advisors? Are they investing?
  7. How much have your team invested in time and money?
  8. How much is your token sale aiming to raise?
  9. What are you planning to spend it on and why is that reasonable for this stage of the project?
  10. How does your sale rank you with the other ICOs in the last, say, 6 months? (You might as well say as someone will do it anyway)
  11. What is your soft cap and hard cap? If there is a big difference, what are you going to do differently if you exceed the soft cap?
  12. What is the structure of your funding?
    • What is the total number of tokens being minted?
    • How much was raised in a private placing?
    • How much is offered in the pre-sale?
    • How long is the pre-sale?
    • How much is offered in the pre-sale?
    • Actually, why are you doing a pre-sale?
    • How much is offered in the ICO?
    • What happens to the tokens not sold in the pre-sale/ICO?

That’s your dozen (see what I did on Q12?) for starters!

There are a lot of questions, but there again you are looking at raising a lot of money.

An ICO – Having your cake and eating it

Without doubt the ICO phenomenon has changed the course of funding for tech companies. A huge amount of money has been raised in what has seemed like the wild west of finance. In fact one of the key things about the tokens being offered is that they are for use in the service  – unregulated for the large part but that is changing very fast.

One of the key aspects of this has been that the money has been raised from large numbers of individual investors rather than through venture capital and angel funds. This has been called the “democratisation” of funding, but not only has the source of the funds changed, the process has also changed and what you are buying has too.

Under the traditional process to raise the kind of money that is now being raised by ICOs went from raising money from family and friends, probably a bank loan, through angel investors, onto venture capitalists and IPOs. Crowdfunding has changed this a bit and allowed individuals to invest directly rather than through funds, but there is still a lot of investor protection regulation in place.

That seems very long winded process compared to an ICO (have an idea; write a white paper; launch an ICO), but it had sound underpinning. Each step undertook a level of due diligence. Family and Friends must at least trust you to some extent. A bank will look at your business plan, accounts and history and probably ask for security, so testing your commitment to the business. The angel will really take a good look and get to know you. The venture capitalist will put you through the mill.

Also, the business has been developed throughout the process. By the time you get to the angel and venture capitalist there is usually a functioning business in existence. Compare this to a lot of companies who don’t even have a prototype available when they announce their ICO.

The other key difference about this process is that, apart from the bank loan, these people will actually own a part of the business. They will be shareholders and have some say in how the business is run.

One of the major things about the tokens being offered in ICOs is that they are for use in the service being proposed and NOT an investment in the company. This is what get’s them away from current investor protection legislation but one of the consequences is it also removes the provider of funds from any direct input on how the company is run. A lot of effort and convoluted thinking has gone into working out how a service can be tokenised whether it needs it or not, but that is for another article.

What you are buying is the right to use future services. For the value of your tokens to increase you are reliant on the company increasing the demand for its services. A strategy you have little control over.  The white paper is a sales document and what the company decides to release is not regulated (yet). For the investor the integrity of the team becomes paramount.

The position can be summarised by this chat (shortened and anonymised) in a Telegram channel for token holders:

token holder: Can you tell me …..
company: Well we are a private company so right now that is what we can share
token holder: Just want to make sure you have some accountability
company: yes but no one here is a shareholder
token holder: I said stakeholder on purpose.
company: this is a token, not a piece of the company…. 

So one of the advantages for the ICO issuer in that when you raise funds this way you don’t, on the whole, give away any of the equity. On the other hand an ICO is a sale, so could have unexpected tax consequences (Sales tax anyone?).

For the investor, just know what you are buying for your money and do lots of research.

The articles on this site are opinions and for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be investment advice.  Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

© copyright 2017 Russell Weetch

Cove Identity ICO

Update: Cove Identity have delayed their ICO, see: https://medium.com/coveidentity/we-are-delaying-our-ico-e85120997cdf

Cove Identity published it’s white paper this week and their token pre-sale kicks off on September 21st.

Cove Identity looks after your identity by providing a secure store for your digitised documents and a scheme to provide verification both of their integrity and validity.

What seems unusual about this project, in theses heady days of ICO pick and pack, is that the app, at least the MVP (minimum viable product), is already available for both Apple iOS and Android. You can install and start using it right now – it’s straightforward, I’ve tried it. At the moment it is just a store for you to store scans of your documents securely.

The team (founders and advisors) look strong with lots of tech startup experience on both the technical and business side (often missing).

The tokens utility is in their use for the verification processes of which there are several: Offline/Traditional; Peer-To-Peer; Digital; Video; Automated; agents and Business Partners and Document Issuers (the highest level of verification). The process allows for cross verification too.

The system offers a granular sharing system so you choose how much you share and allows tracked sharing and the ability to retract a shared document after it has be validated. Also the ability to sign up to services without sharing your data.

The Token Sale

Interesting that the split between development and marketing in use of funds is about the same (39%/33%) which shows a realistic outlook.

There will be 1 billion tokens (Shells). Up to 100m (soft cap 5m) will be available in the pre-sale with discounts of up to 40% and 410m available in the Crowdsale – no details yet, but terms won’t be as good as the pre-sale – and this may be limited and some held for a further crowd sale in 2018. Team and advisors get 200m (20%) with a 2 year lock in and phased release after that. There is 1% set aside for bounties.

The remaining 280m are set aside for the Eco Fund: “This fund can be used by Cove team for incentivising new participants and token holders, early participants, running developers hackathons, and other contests required for marketing purposes”.

The target they are looking at raising is $10-$15m in this sale, although the crowdsale hardcap is $41m, which maybe a little ambitious in the current climate. However, holding some back (or not selling all of them) and going for a further round in 2018 with a market related price, after the product has had more proving and some of the verification deals are in place, maybe a successful approach.


The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be investment advice.  Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.