Aussie fintech BetaCarbon this week launched its blockchain-enabled carbon-trading platform, allowing retail investors easy access to investing in a potentially booming Australian carbon market.

The Sydney-based enterprise was founded last year with the aim of democratising access to Australian carbon investments – essentially allowing  individual investors and small-business investors to take part.

Previously, retail investors have been unable to directly invest in Australian carbon credits. However, BetaCarbon purchases government-regulated Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) with its own funds and then mints them in tokenised form on the newly “Merged”, energy-efficient proof-of-stake Ethereum blockchain, giving investors exposure in a blockchain/crypto sense.

The investable ERC20 unit is called the Australian Carbon Token (BCAU) and investors can get involved using as little as $1. One BCAU token represents 1kg of CO2 emissions captured or avoided.

Given the Albanese government’s ramped-up emission-reduction targets (43% reduction on 2005 levels by 2030, and “net zero” by 2050), along with building awareness among industries ever-conscious of brand perception, the climate seems exactly right for BetaCarbon.

And, according to information provided to Stockhead from the innovative fintech, demand for carbon credits is rising rapidly in Australia, while more than half (54) of the ASX 100 companies have pledged to go net zero by 2030.

Additionally, Q1 2022 saw a 62% year-on-year increase in Australian carbon credits voluntarily “cancelled”, which is the process by which the purchaser of a carbon credit claims it as an offset so that it cannot be resold.

 

Strong backers, strong demand

“The Australian carbon market is maturing quickly as the federal government and the corporate sector alike ratchet up their commitments to decarbonisation,” noted BetaCarbon CEO and founder Guy Dickinson.

“The price of Australian carbon credits has risen significantly in recent years, as more companies voluntarily seek carbon offsets to reduce their emissions,” he continued. “But still the ACCU is priced today at a mere fraction of its European Union and New Zealand equivalents.”

And BetaCarbon tells us it’s now already sold more than $4 million worth of tokens in its pre-launch phase, representing 93 million kilograms of captured carbon.

Last year the Aussie blockchain company attracted $3 million worth of seed funding from several high-profile funds, including Tribeca Investment Partners, Twynam Investments and Tectonic Investment Management.

The firm’s advisers meanwhile include former ASIC deputy chairman Daniel Crennan, who had this to say about the fintech:

“BetaCarbon proactively consulted early on with relevant regulators and I’m confident that its well-considered approach to the complex and dynamic regulatory framework in which it operates will stand it in good stead.”

“As the demand for Australian Carbon Tokens increases, so too will the demand for Australian carbon credits, as BetaCarbon purchases ACCUs to mint new tokens,” said Dickinson, concluding:

“The more demand for carbon credits, the higher the need for new green projects for businesses to offset.”

Last week BetaCarbon won Best Investment Innovation at the Finder Innovation Awards, which followed wins in the Green Innovation and Green Rising Star categories at the Finder Green Awards earlier this year, and the People’s Choice Award for an emerging fintech organisation at FinTech Australia’s Finnie Awards.

 

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While BetaCarbon is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.