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Case Study

Carbonmark

Product Design
03/2023

Carbonmark is the go-to platform for every organization in the world wanting to acquire, trade, or retire carbon.

Carbonmark is the Universal Carbon Marketplace, and your gateway to the Digital Carbon Market (DCM) – it gives you access to tens of millions of carbon credits, is built to prioritize your user experience, and utilizes the transparent and interoperable infrastructure designed and developed by KlimaDAO.

I designed Carbonmark from scratch, but I didn't do it alone. And the original conception of this marketplace was not mine, but that of many environmental experts whose collective brain power dwarves that of any other group I've had the privilege of working with. I collaborated with an amazing Branding department that provided the fonts, colors, and overall identity of the product. I enjoyed the support of an amazing engineering department that brought everything to life. I had some amazing heads of Product whose vision allowed for the room to ideate on the fastest, easiest, and most user-friendly approaches to buying and selling carbon online. With the unwavering foundation provided by these teams, I designed a first-of-its kind product that will, hopefully, revolutionize the Global Voluntary Carbon Market, and help solve the global climate crisis.

Wireframe from Figma of the Carbonmark marketplace.
Original wireframes

One incredible resource we have at KlimaDAO (the team behind Carbonmark) is a massive discord community of over 60,000 members. This means I have immediate access to our core user base. I frequently tap into that user base for user research, prototype testing, and gathering feedback on new features. Since this project was a bit of a rush job, we didn't spend a lot of time up front conducting user research. We already had a good idea of the market need for our product so we skipped straing to the prototyping phase.

We currently have launched the MVP and are actively engaging in user testing. We're combing through pages of feedback, user data, and Fullstory metrics to plan and test new features with our vast and engaged community.

The marketing team at Carbonmark does a far better job at describing the product than I can. So here's a snippet of the introduction article found at carbonmark.com/resources:

What is Carbonmark?

Carbonmark will be the go-to platform for every organization in the world wanting to acquire, trade, or retire carbon.

If you’re:

  • a carbon project developer who issues carbon credits and wants to interface with counterparties directly;
  • a broker or commodity trader who acquires and trades verified carbon assets;
  • an organization seeking to offset unavoidable emissions, or offset on behalf of a client; or
  • an individual or SME who wants to participate in the Digital Carbon Market

then carbonmark is for you.

The Carbonmark marketplace launched with zero fees for buyers or sellers and will have more carbon projects than any other offset storefront thanks to the interoperable standards that KlimaDAO helped establish.

Carbonmark allows sellers to assign a specific price to their carbon assets and list them for sale until a buyer is found. Carbonmark displays these listings side-by-side with the projects in existing pools, meaning buyers always know they are getting the best deal and sellers know their prices are fair and competitive.

An example of a project details page for a Carbonmark listing.
An example of a project details page for a Carbonmark listing.

This is a step in the checkout flow for users who wish to retire carbon assets to reduce global carbon emissions.
This is a step in the checkout flow for users who wish to retire carbon assets to reduce global carbon emissions.
This is a step in the checkout flow for users who wish to retire carbon assets to reduce global carbon emissions.
Mobile version of the page above.

Who is behind Carbonmark?

Carbonmark is the culmination of the groundbreaking work carried out by KlimaDAO since 2021. It is built by the same grass-roots team who bootstrapped the deepest decentralized carbon pools in October 2021, acquired tens of millions of carbon credits, and facilitated billions of dollars of trades across them.

KlimaDAO inspired an entirely new industry—Regenerative Finance (ReFi)—which has since seen an explosion of interest, from media to venture capital, and from multinational corporations to individual market participants. You can find out more about KlimaDAO here.

A screenshot of a seller's profile page on Carbonmark.com
Users can view a seller's profile page to get information and determine credibility.
A screenshot of a user's carbon listings and seller activity.
Users can also browse a seller's available listings for sale.

What’s under the hood?

Carbonmark offers a familiar marketplace experience, with no blockchain or Decentralized Finance (DeFi) experience required. Under the hood, the marketplace operates as a set of smart contracts on the Polygon blockchain – a public and permissionless network built on top of Ethereum. Carbonmark’s contracts will be fully audited and open-sourced later this year, and are covered by KlimaDAO’s bug bounty program.

Our existing smart contracts, the Carbonmark application code, and KlimaDAO’s underlying infrastructure are already open source on GitHub. If you’d like to contribute to the code, join our Discord and drop us a message.

A screenshot of the Carbonmark portfolio.
In your Carbonmark Portfolio, you can see all your digital carbon assets that exist on the blockchain. You can also decide which assets you want to sell or retire to help offset carbon emissions around the world.

The next step for the Digital Carbon Market

Carbonmark is the gateway to the DCM. It abstracts away the barriers previously associated with entering the foundational infrastructure layer and presents the assets themselves directly to stakeholders on an intuitive and accessible platform.

To date, the Digital Carbon Market has been relatively challenging to access, requiring at least some knowledge of how to use Web3 applications. The Carbonmark approach, by contrast, is simple and intuitive. It will help scale the wider Voluntary Carbon Market by reducing both transaction costs and lead times and bringing about transparency across the entire value chain. This is all achieved by leveraging the interoperable Web3 tech stack – which includes bridging technologies, KlimaDAO’s data analytics capabilities, liquidity pools, and the Retirement Aggregator – but with Carbonmark, they are simply the plumbing that empowers suppliers and customers through a user interface that is light years ahead of the competition.

Roadmap

The Digital Carbon Market is changing quickly, and we have identified the following key areas of focus for Carbonmark in 2023:

  • REST API integrations and SDKs to make it easy for other companies to leverage Carbonmark infrastructure.
  • Radically improving the user experience for first-timers. Digital carbon should be as easy and intuitive as a familiar Web2 product. We aren’t quite there yet but this is a key aim.
  • Providing easy-to-use KYC and AML primitives for regulatory compliance or other institutional requirements.
  • Onboarding exclusive carbon assets and connecting project developers directly with buyers.
  • Future- or forward-carbon financing. We know a large segment of the market is hungry for newer carbon projects and eager to support promising new methods of mitigating or removing carbon, and we will deliver what they need.