Correcting DeFi’s Biggest Threat, One Tree at a Time

Brokoli Network
4 min readMay 25, 2021

You probably read Elon Musk’s tweet that Tesla refuses to accept Bitcoin until the environmental problem is solved. You may not be a religious person, but even then you would’ve heard the Pope echo Musk’s words a few days later.

This means a few things — the good and the bad. Let’s start with the good: blockchain has become mainstream and is attracting more and more eyeballs, while DeFi has grown from niche to a $100 billion dollar challenger. A challenger that is ready to take on the entire financial ecosystem.

And now the bad. Obviously, both the richest person in the world and the Pope identified the single biggest threat to DeFi’s mass adoption — the effect such technologies have on the environment. In fact, every $1 of cryptocurrency value created is responsible for $0.66 in health and climate damages, according to a Harvard study.

The Problem

There are several major sustainability problems facing DeFi today. The problems span across most coins and tokens, which universally results in negative consequences for the climate when mining, transferring, or even holding your digital assets.

While Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most popular digital currencies in the world, the energy consumption needed to mine and maintain them gets far less attention. Bitcoin alone has roughly the same carbon footprint annually as Libya, while Ethereum’s annual carbon emissions rival Lithuania’s.

There are three main ways in which cryptocurrencies leave a major carbon footprint:

  1. MINING USES NON-RENEWABLES. Ethereum consumes about as much electricity as the whole country of Iraq every year, while Bitcoin mining produces about as much CO2 as the entire city of London.
  2. TRANSACTIONS EMIT GREENHOUSE GASES. A DeFi transaction pollutes about 90,000 times more than a VISA transaction. Every single bitcoin transaction arriving at an exchange has a carbon footprint of approx. 300 kgs. That’s roughly the same as the CO₂ emissions of a two-way flight from London to Paris.
  3. TOO MUCH ELECTRONIC WASTE. Mining software becomes obsolete every 1.5 years, while used batteries contain metals and minerals, which are harmful to the environment when processed incorrectly or dumped.

Seeing these problems, it is apparent that Blockchain technology was not exactly started with sustainability in mind. But it is not too late. We can still make it right. We believe that it is possible to make climate action a part of every DeFi transaction.

Brokoli: the first ever Green DEX

Here’s a few quick facts.

Fact 1: 87% of Gen Zers are concerned about the environment.

Fact 2: 26% of Gen Zers donate to climate-related causes.

What does it tell us? Well, people may support certain ideas, but it doesn’t mean that they necessarily act on those ideas.

We built Brokoli’s Decentralised Exchange with simplicity in mind: you will get the same DEX, same slippage as on Uniswap, and the same user experience. The catch is: all of your excess slippage from the transaction is collected as a Climate Fee.

Meaning if a user chooses to exchange 1 ETH for 1000 Token X with slippage tolerance 0.1%, he’ll get the exact amount desired. And if there’s any extra slippage left, it will go towards climate positive action.

Users will be able to flexibly choose the slippage — the initially supported slippage tiers will range from 0.05% to 10% of the transaction. Excess slippage then goes to positive climate offset solutions.

DEX User Interface

After the Climate Fee is collected, it will be used to offset carbon footprint in a decentralised vote. There are three causes that will receive the funds from every Climate Fee payment:

  • Trees planted for carbon footprint offsetting
  • Renewable energy project investments in developing countries
  • Financing e-waste collection and recycling programmes

After the vote decides which projects would receive funding, all transactions and impact will be shown in a transparent, real-time dashboard. Instead of relying on a single entity to solve the climate crisis, we will be inviting everyone to make an impact by choosing Brokoli.

Because Brokoli is bringing the power to the people to offset their impact and solve the climate problem. Not just by becoming carbon neutral, but becoming climate positive. We are not trying to stop the problem from getting worse — we are trying to eliminate the problem altogether.

In future articles, we will delve deeper into how our technical architecture, decentralised vote, and other features contribute to finally making DeFi climate positive.

About Brokoli Network

Brokoli is an impact-to-earn NFT metaverse where climate impact makes you money.

Your DeFi transactions on Brokoli plant NFT Trees: a tradable asset that earns passive income.

Brokoli’s core: Environmentally friendly gateway into the most popular DEXs and dApps.

API: Any blockchain platform (centralised or decentralised) can implement our API to allow users to opt-in to a small climate fee that offsets their transaction’s footprint.

Digital Forest / Brokoli Impact Credits: Users receive NFTs based on trees they have funded the planting of by using our products and completing daily quests. Digital NFT forests will be tradable as Brokoli Impact Credits: Corporate Social Responsibility standard loosely pegged to real forests and purchased by corporate partners.

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Brokoli Network

An impact-to-earn NFT metaverse where climate impact makes you money 🌳 Powered by $BRKL token 🥦