Rainforest Foundation to Support New Digital Currency in Environmental Protection Bid

Stan Higgins
Apr 17, 2015 at 23:24 UTC
Updated Apr 18, 2015 at 21:46 UTC
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Rainforest FoundationThe Rainforest Foundation has announced that it will utilize a new digital currency to help support its global forest protection efforts.

Called BitSeeds, the digital currency will be used to help fund the Rainforest Foundation as it supports the global cause. The organization was founded in 1989 by singer-songwriter Sting and his wife with the goal of preserving natural habitats in the Amazon River region.

BitSeeds will use a mixture of proof-of-work and proof-of-stake, with 100 million coins premined and set aside in a multisignature wallet that will generate quarterly interest. A non-profit organization called the BitSeeds Foundation, which is currently being registered in the state of Nevada, will hold custody of the funds, with the Rainforest Foundation acting as one of the keyholders for that wallet.

New York-based bitcoin payments processor Coin.co is also lending support to the initiative handling BitSeeds transactions, as part of the project will involve seeking out merchants who will adopt the currency.

Rainforest Foundation executive director Suzanne Pelletier told CoinDesk in an interview that work on the project started nearly a year ago after the group was approached by developer Gabriel Aronovich, who is spearheading the project.

Pelletier explained:

“It’s been a journey the past year trying to sort through how that could actually work, and so the idea was to develop a currency that was sustainable and that could help in the protection and planting of trees.”

The goal, she continued, is to plant 1 billion seeds over the lifetime of the coin’s production cycle, corresponding to the 1bn BitSeeds that will be mined or minted.

Funding fix

Though it has decided to pursue a more novel route than accepting bitcoin directly, according to Pelletier, the project aims to use digital currency to solve a familiar problem – funding.

She said that the Rainforest Foundation has developed a workable model for supporting the protection of rainforests, but that a sustainable solution to funding those efforts has been lacking.

Pelletier explained that her organization was open to new, disruptive ways of tapping support and that the BitSeeds concept fit in perfectly with that kind of vision.

“It’s a huge, enormous problem that’s going to take a lot of money to solve, and so we’re looking forward to a new, innovative way to fund that work,” she said.

The organization will also be accepting donations in BitSeed to promote the digital currency’s use.

Rainforest image via Shutterstock

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