IBM to Launch Cryptocurrency on Stellar Blockchain

Global computing titan IBM has announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency on the Stellar blockchain, raising the stakes on high-tech adoption of virtual currency.

Carbon Credit Cryptocurrency

IBM has partnered with Veridium Labs, an environmental fin-tech startup, to develop a new cryptocurrency that will tokenize carbon credits. The credits will be used by businesses to offset environmental degradation caused by their operations.

Veridium has been exploring new ways to implement carbon offset credits in an open market but has struggled to do so given the value constraints of the underlying credits. In other words, no generally agreed upon formula exists for determining individual value, which makes the buying and selling of credits difficult to implement.

Now, Veridium believes it has found the solution through crypto tokens and the blockhain. The new token will be developed using Stellar’s digital ledger. Veridium will be developing the value formula while IBM manages the technical specifications for buying, selling and managing the tokens.

Veridium CEO Todd Lemons issued the following statement:

“For years, we’ve been trying to mitigate environmental impacts at every point in the value chain, however previous solutions still presented significant complexities and costs. Our digital environmental assets are designed to help companies and institutional investors purchase and use carbon credits to mitigate their environmental impacts today, and even hedge their potential carbon liabilities risks in the future.”

Importantly, the new project has already moved beyond the concept phase, which means the credits will be available across the Stellar network.

“By using a public, permissioned blockchain network, we can help Veridium create a new sustainable marketplace that is good for business and good for the world,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM’s industry platforms and blockchain division.

Stellar Network

IBM and Stellar have been working together to develop a global payment network powered by blockchain technology. The technology giant announced last year it was using the Stellar blockchain to launch a network of 12 currency corridors that encompasses Australia, New Zealand smaller island nations in the South Pacific.

Through Stellar, IBM and a network of banks are using cryptocurrency the blockchain to move money across borders in near real-time. The service is available both to merchants and consumers that seek to accelerate the payment process.

The significance of the news, which IBM announced on Monday, is that merchants and consumers will be able to send money to another country in near real-time, accelerating a payments process that typically takes days. The network is said to process up to 60% of all cross-border payments in the South Pacific’s retail foreign exchange corridors.

Stellar is the world’s eighth largest cryptocurrency by market cap with a total value of roughly $6.7 billion. The protocol has generated significant attention due to its powerful team, growing business appeal and status as an emerging ICO platform.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi