U.S. tech startup plans up to $150 million token sale for environmental credit market

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Veridium Labs, an environmental technology startup, said on Monday it hopes to raise $ 150 million in October by selling two types of tokens backed by forest carbon offset credits and other credits used to fund environmental mitigation efforts.

Proceeds will be used to build a platform to enable trading of assets backed by natural capital, Todd Lemons, Veridium’s chief executive officer, told Reuters in an interview last week. Natural capital, including air, water, forests, and minerals, is an untapped and undervalued asset class that academics from several U.S. universities have estimated is worth more than $ 120 trillion.

Environmental credits are already traded, but Lemons said Veridium Labs aims to make pricing more transparent. He said the lack of a standard way to measure the price of natural capital makes it hard for companies to account for those costs.

Veridium’s planned token sale will use blockchain technology, a digital ledger of transactions that has underpinned the first digital currency bitcoin. The mechanism has grown popular in the financial technology sector, and Veridium Labs is one of many corporations using blockchain to track other types of assets across industries.

Veridium will issue two types of tokens. VERIDIUM membership tokens will grant access to the trading platform while TGR tokens represent actual environmental mitigation credits, Lemons said.

Currently, corporations planning to develop wilderness areas or other projects that might cause harm to the environment often purchase environmental mitigation credits from land banking companies such as Infinite Earth, a firm funded by EnVision Corp, the company behind Veridium Labs. The credits generate funds to help preserve endangered species and forests or reduce carbon emissions.

Some companies purchase the credits voluntarily. Other credits, such as wetland or stream credits, are required by regulators such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Lemons said pension funds and investment firms are the biggest drivers of environmental mitigation credits, as they try to ensure the companies they invest in are socially responsible.

“These environmental mitigation credits can be bought over the counter, but they’re not liquid,” said Lemons. “You cannot mark them to market like any other asset. So it’s difficult to include them in the company’s books.”

He said that once a trading platform is provided, these environmental credits will create their own market value.

VERIDIUM membership tokens will be issued during the crowdsale, Lemons said. One hundred Veridium tokens will be given for every TGR token bought by an investor, he added.

There will be 15 million “TGR” tokens at the initial offering, backed by so-called “REDD+” forest carbon offset credits. A carbon offset credit reduces carbon dioxide emissions and includes projects such as planting trees or preserving forests.

The forest carbon credits are issued by Infinite Earth and backed by natural assets from the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve in Borneo, Indonesia. Infinite Earth currently holds a 60-year lease on the Indonesian biodiversity reserve.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

U.S. surveillance law may see no new protections for foreign targets

Any reform of a controversial U.S. law allowing the National Security Agency to spy on people overseas will likely focus on its impact on U.S. residents, without curbing its use elsewhere.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) expires on Dec. 31, and some digital rights groups are calling on Congress to overhaul the law to protect the privacy of residents of both the U.S. and other countries. Congress will almost certainly extend the provision in some form. 

But a congressional hearing on Wednesday focused largely on the NSA’s “inadvertent” collection of U.S. residents’ data, with little time given to the privacy concerns of people overseas.

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How The U.S. Military’s Tech Is Going Green To Save Lives

Refueling a destroyer or any other large piece of military hardware is incredibly dangerous because it leaves troops very vulnerable to attack, especially if it requires a huge convoy. U.S. troops have lost their lives trying refuel vessels that are ultra-dependent on oil. The Department of Defense knows this, and as…

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U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil Started Out ‘As Underachieving As You Can Get’

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U.S. Signal Partners with SoftNAS for Cloud Storage

SoftNAS provides software-defined NAS solutions and protects mission-critical data using any combination of public, private and hybrid clouds.


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Morrissey Cancels U.S. Tour Due To Virus

Morrissey has cancelled the rest of his U.S. tour. The former Smiths singer had reschedule a number of shows due to a virus that he contracted back in May, but now all of the shows are off for good. In a press statement, Morrissey’s spokesperson wrote: �In the interest of making a full recovery, all […]

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Will Trump’s economic policies really plunge the U.S. into a recession? (Spoiler: yes)

“I will be the greatest jobs president that God has ever created.”

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Trump is in some ways running on that one platform — jobs, economy, jobs —  every time he proposes ideas on immigration, taxes and foreign policy. Nearly everything he says is tied to the goal of improving America’s employment picture.

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If you believe Mitt Romney — and a lot of economists — a Trump presidency means bad things for the economy, including the threat that the U.S. “would sink into prolonged recession.”  Read more…

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Samsung says new U.S. offices are its ‘biggest investment in Silicon Valley’ to date

Samsung officially opened the doors to its new 1.1-million-square-foot Silicon Valley offices Thursday, more than 30 years after its arrival in the San Jose tech corridor in 1983.

The building will house various research labs dedicated to semiconductors, LEDs and displays, staff in sales and marketing, and other support areas, the company said.

“[We are] laying the groundwork for a more aggressive pace of growth over the next several decades,” said Samsung’s chief executive, Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, at the grand opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, the company’s president of its U.S.-based device solutions operations, Jaesoo Han, said that the move “represents a major milestone as we open our most strategically important Samsung facility in the U.S., and also our biggest investment in Silicon Valley.”

Samsung also announced that it has established a $ 1 million STEM College Education Scholarship Fund. In its own words:

Deserving university students who are currently enrolled in STEM-focused programs at a California State or University of California school will benefit from this program, beginning with a $ 50,000 gift to San Jose State University this year. Each scholarship will cover tuition and living expenses for one year.

But the announcement of the new office has been largely overshadowed by news in virtual reality today: We reported that the Samsung Gear VR will launch as a consumer product this November for $ 99. (You can read our full roundup from today’s Oculus event here.)

Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled its new fonts-inspired Serif TVs, and shared more about how it relies on startups to stay ahead on technological innovation.

If you happen to be passing through the area, Samsung’s new building certainly looks worth checking out.

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Samsung says new U.S. offices are its ‘biggest investment in Silicon Valley’ to date

Samsung officially opened the doors to its new 1.1-million-square-foot Silicon Valley offices Thursday, more than 30 years after its arrival in the San Jose tech corridor in 1983.

The building will house various research labs dedicated to semiconductors, LEDs and displays, staff in sales and marketing, and other support areas, the company said.

“[We are] laying the groundwork for a more aggressive pace of growth over the next several decades,” said Samsung’s chief executive, Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, at the grand opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, the company’s president of its U.S.-based device solutions operations, Jaesoo Han, said that the move “represents a major milestone as we open our most strategically important Samsung facility in the U.S., and also our biggest investment in Silicon Valley.”

Samsung also said that it has established a $ 1 million STEM College Education Scholarship Fund. In its own words:

Deserving university students who are currently enrolled in STEM-focused programs at a California State or University of California school will benefit from this program, beginning with a $ 50,000 gift to San Jose State University this year. Each scholarship will cover tuition and living expenses for one year.

But the announcement of the new office has been largely overshadowed by news in virtual reality today: we reported that the Samsung Gear VR will launch as a consumer product this November for $ 99. (You can also read our roundup from that event here.)

Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled its new fonts-inspired Serif TVs, and shared more about how it relies on startups to stay ahead on technological innovation.

More information:

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