HBAR Foundation launches $100M climate-focused impact fund, declaring DOVU as inaugural grantee



The HBAR Foundation, a philanthropic and independent subsidiary of distributed ledger firm Hedera Hashgraph, has announced the launch of the environmentally-conscious Sustainable Impact Fund (SIF), conceived to foster the development of climate-conscious solutions within the Hedera ecosystem.

The first recipient, a Welsh blockchain company called DOVU, has been granted an undisclosed portion of the $100 million treasury to pursue their open-source Guardian technology to develop publicly transparent mechanisms, such as their audit trail, to verify carbon-offsetting data.

A supporter of the Crypto Climate Accord, Dovu’s carbon-centric market capitalization platform aggregates an abundance of real-time quantitative data on all Ethereum-based projects, tracking and openly publishing their carbon debt based upon transaction output, and suggesting tokenomic negation measures through investment in Dovu’s native asset, DOV.

Stablecoins Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) currently occupy the top two spots with a cost-to-offset valuation of $64,514,997 and $11,361,957, respectively, while Wrapped Ethereum (WETH) makes up the third position with $2,722,699.

Dovu works with rural agricultural communities around the world to determine and report on carbon concentration levels in the soil, cultivating a circular economic model in which farmers are incentivized to extract the element from the atmosphere and return it underground for the access of selling carbon credits on the marketplace.

The HBAR Foundation was established in mid-September last year following a successful Hedera Governing Council vote two months prior. Members of the council voted for an initial allocation of 5.35 billion HBAR into the token treasury — valued at $2.5 billion at the time, and just over $1.1 billion as of Thursday — for investments in a disparate number of projects and developers striving to enhance the growth of the Hedera ecosystem.

According to data metrics showcased on their website, the HBAR Foundation has allocated over $32.1 million in funding grants to date across 19 projects in four industry sectors that are each building upon some aspect of Hedera’s consensus algorithm. The sectors include Payments & Fintech, the Crypto Economy, the Metaverse, and the newly endowed Sustainable Impact Fund.

Of the four available quadrants for funding applicants, the Crypto Economy and Metaverse funds are the most populated, housing eminent brands such as Binance US, Bittrex, Huobi Global and Moonpay, among others, while the Metaverse category is comprised of eight companies, including Venly, Tune.fm and Calaxy.

Cointelegraph spoke to Wes Geisenberger, the vice president of sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) at the HBAR Foundation for an insight into which of the specific 17 environmental targets within the UN Sustainable Development Goal initiative the SIF most aligns as well as how the foundation anticipates its partnership with DOVU will positively impact this goal.

Geisenberger stated that the foundation is intent on “addressing all 17 UN SDGs where we can make a measurable impact” and noted that “DLT plays a strong role in that impact,” alongside specifying their ambitions for the year:

“In 2022, we’ll be investing a significant portion of the Sustainable Impact Fund in grantees addressing major challenges in climate change (13), renewable energy (7), and sustainable consumption and production (12) as key areas of focus.”

Related: Crypto’s climate impact: Are carbon offsets good enough?

Carbon offsets became a prevalent topic of discussion during Glasgow’s COP26 summit late last year, with some experts from the field arguing that the measures are not-so-much preventative, but rather a method for corporations to delay or procrastinate on environmental actions.

Focusing on the traceability aspect of DOVU’s technology, Dovu’s chief technology officer Matt Smithies spoke on how the company intends to uphold accountability and transparency across the ecosystem using blockchain tokenization.

Smithies stated: “Every actor that plays a part in the audit trail will be recorded, making it possible for anyone who makes a purchase — be they an organization or an individual — to understand its journey from origin through to retirement,” before revealing how the imbalanced demand-supply ratio could impact the industry.

“This is going to continue to push up the price of carbon — regardless of whether it’s a cheaper offset or a premium, verified quality carbon credit. Therefore, it will be in the interest of purchasers to reduce their carbon emissions in the first place; not doing so will become even more costly.”