The Democratic Republic of the Congo is inviting cryptocurrency companies to bid on oil and gas exploration areas.

This auction takes place as Western governments, desperate for additional oil production, call on the African country to increase output.

Didier Budimbu, Minister of Hydrocarbons, stated that auctioning off the exploration areas could generate the funds required to build schools, offices, and road infrastructure. He also stated that as a sovereign country, it was his nation's right to exploit its natural resources.

The country in central Africa has focused its oil and gas operations on exploration blocks along its west coast. It generates approximately 25,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Calls for increased output came after US President Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia following the Russia-Ukraine conflict to persuade leaders to pump more oil. Corruption and environmental concerns have stifled further exploration in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

However, the hydrocarbons minister has stated that nothing will prevent the country from listing off tracts of environmentally significant land in the Virunga National Park and the Curvette Central, a major carbon sink.

Flowcarbon establishes RedemptionDAO

While the auction is aimed toward oil and gas behemoths, Budimbu stated that the country would accept bids from cryptocurrency and carbon-credit firms as long as they had dependable financial support.

The project has piqued the interest of Flowcarbon, a company co-founded by disgraced WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann. It intends to issue tokens to companies that buy carbon credits, which can be burned when the credits are retired. Due to current market conditions, the company announced last month that the token launch would be delayed.

Project developers issue carbon credits to major corporations seeking to offset their carbon footprint. The purchase of one carbon credit represents a commitment by the company to remove or prevent one metric ton of carbon from entering the atmosphere.

With the DRC block bidding in mind, Flowcarbon assembled a team of experts and resources to run RedemptionDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization dedicated to purchasing an auctioned block in exchange for "avoided emissions" credits. 

While the DAO hopes to raise $50 million, it has only received $2.57 million in pledges so far. Contributions and pledges were made in USDC, a crypto stablecoin that is pegged to the US dollar. The DAO has until February 2023 to complete its fundraising efforts.

Companies bidding for land

While Flowcarbon was a pioneer in the carbon-credit tokenization space, there is no precedent for bringing avoided oil and gas exploration credits to market. The development of such a method, according to analysts, could take up to two years.

Furthermore, one analyst stated that due to the high cost of acquiring blocks, companies involved in the business might soon face cash flow problems due to the high cost of acquiring blocks.

In 2021, KlimaDAO and the Toucan Protocol Association began tokenizing carbon credits, resulting in a more transparent supply-and-demand market.

Aug 15, 2022
Crypto News

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