Rollout of the Green Zilliqa Initiative

Starling Foundries
4 min readSep 28, 2021


Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash


Zilliqa’s Carbon Footprint in Context

Green Zilliqa Initiative:

Our Historical Proof of Work Emissions

Carbon Credits Overview

Native Tokenize Offset Governance Votes

Summit and Continuation


Since I wrote about the carbon footprint of the Zilliqa blockchain, many things have happened. Weeks later Elon Musk fell from grace as Crypto’s favorite Tweeter after using that platform to announce Tesla would not take Bitcoin payments due to its large carbon footprint. The markets responded with a sharp correction, and my post received thousands of views over the span of a day. Since then I was approached by several groups within the Zilliqa community to formulate a plan to deal with our carbon footprint directly. I am not ready to abandon Proof of Work, and PoS is not emissions-free anyways, which leaves voluntary offsetting as the clearest path forward. To do this in a native way required us to draw in some high-quality carbon credits and bootstrap a marketplace for offsets on Zilliqa. This voluntary solution permits dapps and users to participate directly in the effort, and with the scale of Zilliqa’s impact individuals can make a significant contribution using voluntary offsetting alone. This would never make a dent in the massive Ethererum or Bitcoin footprints, but I expect that once I turn over the protocol to the community, we will burn away Zilliqa’s guilt before we’re done experimenting with the idea. Once we cross the line of carbon neutral, I intend to pad our lead among green blockchains with a push into carbon negative.

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Phase One

My plan won a grant from IgniteDAO to build out the Zilliqa-native infrastructure for carbon offsets, and that is exactly what I’ve done. Over the last 4 months I’ve drawn in not one, but three distinct types of carbon credits tokenized on the Zilliqa mainnet. What remains is presenting the work, and providing some community voice in how we proceed. I intend to run 3 governance portal votes — one per carbon credit, in order to have our three offset tokens vetted and approved by the gZIL-holding members of our ecosystem. We are also running a summit, where I will present the results of this project thus far, and end Phase One with a facilitated focusing session handled by a Mural expert that will help us determine where the project will go from here.

No one will unilaterally decide what’s next for this initiative, but I have been collecting solutions while waiting for this issue to surface naturally within the Zilliqa community. Two years ago I explained the opportunity for a carbon market on Zilliqa to the rest of the Regen Network hackathon team while we worked on the ReDAOmint at DEFI 2019 in San Francisco. Unlike Ethereum, Zilliqa’s footprint is small enough to be tractable, while conveniently growing — which forces us to think on bigger scales than a one-off solution that comes from a single ecosystem player. The opportunity here if Zilliqa can think expansively is massive — if we could become home to a deliberately-designed carbon credit marketplace with a guaranteed undertaker, then we would also demonstrate our technological capabilities in front of many powerful people.

Competing with the marketplaces of today isn’t as hard as you might guess, from the perspective of issuers they are not being served well by the voluntary offset marketplaces, which go through periods of famine that make carbon credits a desert oasis that draws many smaller–scale climate change efforts in with promise of sustenance that often turns out to be a mirage. I’ve heard first-hand accounts of projects paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to have their methodology validated, then only to take in a couple thousands of dollars selling those carbon credits despite their compelling ecosystem benefits. This happening against the backdrop of grand statements at the highest levels, where nations and multinational corporations pledge billions of dollars to offsetting their carbon footprints. This contradiction is a sure sign of an inefficient market ready for disruption.

Acknowledgements: our technology partner in the carbon offsets space

IgniteDAO: funder of the first phase

Starling Foundries: project engineering

Daniel Swid: Expert Mural facilitator

Matt Dyer: Zilliqa’s green advocate

Viewblock: creation of a new API for impact calculations



Starling Foundries

Errant scientist with solutions looking for problems. I like blockchains and geoscience the most.