Updates on Ultragreen Money (Celo Carbon Offset Fund)


The Ultragreen Money initiative was launched last year through the Celo community’s approval of CIP-52, grounded in the blockchain’s commitment to sustainability and the regenerative finance movement. This initiative established the Celo Carbon Offsetting Fund, which receives a portion of the base of transaction fees burnt by the Celo platform every epoch. Since May 2023, the funds have been used to purchase carbon offsets on-chain and off-chain.

Through this post, we aim to provide an update to the community on the achievements of the initiative and share some strategic directions we are taking in 2024.

For reference, the design of the initiative can be found here. The Carbon Offsetting Fund is administered through a multi-sig (0xCe10d577295d34782815919843a3a4ef70Dc33ce - Celo Carbon Neutrality Multisig; CCNM) by designated representatives from the Celo Foundation (Nikhil Raghuveera), Climate Collective (Nirvaan Ranganathan), Mercy Corps Ventures (Kenneth Kou) and Spirals Protocol (Helena Merk).

Summary for 2023

All transactions related to the Carbon Offsetting Fund are tracked in this public spreadsheet (Celo Blockchain Carbon Offsets - Google Sheets).

From May to December 2023, a total of 18,976 CELO was utilized to purchase carbon offsets. Of which, 80% (15,180 CELO) were used to purchase off-chain offsets with Wren, while the remainder (3,795 CELO) were used to acquire NCT and retire tCO2 on-chain via Toucan. The table below summarizes the utilization of funds and its equivalent CO2 offset.

Protocol Share Amount in CELO tCO2 equivalent
Off-chain Wren 80% 15,181 247.8
On-chain Toucan 20% 3,795 1,569.2
TOTAL 100% 18,976 1,817.0

Through the Ultragreen Money initiative, the Celo blockchain has offset a total of 1,817 tons of CO2 equivalent, which roughly translates to 72,680 trees planted. This is also more than 105 times the estimated total annual carbon footprint of the Celo blockchain (17.21 tCO2), as reported by CCRI.

Besides Wren and Toucan, Ecosapiens also minted a limited edition NFT called Celosapien, which evolved for 7 levels in tandem with the offchain offsetting with Wren. The CCNM sent the portion dedicated to Wren through Ecosapiens monthly, which initiated the Celosapien evolution. The Celo community was able to mint a copy of each of the Celosapien’s evolution.

Strategy for 2024

There are several changes that we propose to implement as we continue the Ultragreen Money initiative this year, specifically on (a) administrators of the multisig; and (b) percent allocation of the fund.

Given the professional transitions and organizational pivots of several original members of the multisig, we will implement the following changes in the composition of the administrators:

Current: Celo Foundation, Nikhil Raghuveera
Proposed replacement: Celo Foundation, Angelo Kalaw
Reason: No longer affiliated with CF

Current: Climate Collective, Nirvaan Ranganathan
Proposed replacement: Climate Collective, Alison Filler
Reason: No longer affiliated with CC

Current: Spirals Protocol, Helena Merk
Proposed replacement: Gainforest, Simeon Max
Reason: Spirals team shifting focus towards Streamline Climate

Current: Mercy Corps Ventures, Kenneth Kou
Proposed replacement: Mercy Corps Ventures, Richard Miller
Reason: Same organization, shared Celo wallet

Proposed addition: cLabs, Martin Volpe

We would like to thank Ken, Nikhil, Nirvaan, and Helena who have been pivotal in the development, launch as well as the implementation of Ultragreen Money.

With Spirals Protocol stepping back from the initiative, Gainforest - an AI and dMRV protocol built on Celo - volunteered to participate as an administrator of the multisig. Their expertise on the latest Web3-related developments in the climate space will be an asset to the operations of the Fund. You can read more about Gainforest here (LINK).

With regards to the allocation of the fund, this joint blogpost in March 2023 established an initial framework for determining the share between off-chain and on-chain offsets (80-20% respectively), with the intention of securing continued support for blockchain-enabled decarbonization in the Celo ecosystem while ensuring the quality of the assets purchased.

In 2024, we propose a 40%-60% allocation between off-chain and on-chain offsets. In particular, we propose to continue purchasing off-chain assets through Wren with 40% of the monthly inflows to the Fund. The remaining 60% will be used for on-chain assets, specifically splitting equally between Toucan Protocol and Arkreen. Beyond ensuring that Celo is a green blockchain, this effort also strives to support the growth of a vibrant regenerative ecosystem around Celo. As such, it is our ambition to strengthen the demand signal for high quality digital environmental assets on chain. If you know of any other efforts that are available we would welcome information and introductions to ensure we continue to grow the portion of on-chain assets purchased and keep growing the market.

Moving forward, we will purchase TCO2 tokens from Toucan and RECs from Arkreen.

  • Toucan has launched a two-way carbon bridge with Puro.earth, which enables the tokenization of premium engineered carbon removals, creating “TCO2” tokens. These are ERC-20 tokens, each directly linked to a carbon dioxide removal certificate (CORC) from the Puro registry, ensuring a one-to-one correspondence. Additionally, the TCO2 tokens preserve metadata detailing the environmental project they represent. Moving forward, the offset fund will discontinue the purchase of NCTs in favor of these new tokens.
  • Meanwhile, Arkreen launched on Celo in December 2023, bringing the ability to purchase tokenized renewable energy certificates in the blockchain. The members of the multisig evaluated RECs based on the questions in the proposal, and found it fit for allocation from the Fund. You can read more about Arkreen and RECs here [LINK].

Next Steps

The next scheduled offsetting by the CCNM is on February 15, 2024. In the future, as more high quality assets become available on-chain, we will revisit and adjust the allocation accordingly. We invite community members to also share their comments and suggestions below, as we all collaboratively govern how the network should offset its emissions.


Thanks for the detailed post @AlisonFiller! It’s been an exciting journey as part of the Celo Carbon Offset Fund. Looking forward to new onchain assets coming live that further showcase the power of transparent and ecosystem-led climate action through Ultragreen Money

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I think it’s an important signal to the (web3) world that Celo has committed to transparently offset emissions, and we’re glad to have put together such a fab selection of projects that we can help advance together!

Wonderful update! On behalf of the team at Toucan, I’d like to express our sincere appreciation for your transparency and ongoing improvements. It’s also wonderful to see your transition to purchasing a majority of offsets/removals on-chain. This plays an important role in demonstrating the potential of web3 to enhance and scale the carbon markets effectively. Thank you for allowing Toucan to play a part – we’re thrilled to be a contributing partner!

Really appreciated! Arkeen is exciting to join on-chain offset program with tokenzied REC for contribution. Below is the link with more detail information.

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