What is BCT and How Does it Work?

While the ticker symbol BCT is may resemble the most prominent cryptocurrency in the world (BTC), their purpose are far from similar.

BCT stands for the Base Carbon Tonnes and is one of the fundamental components of the ReFi movement. It was first launched in October 2021 by the Toucan Protocol in order to bring carbon offsets into the web3 space.

But what is it really?

Carbon Offsets

In order to understand what BCT really is, one needs to be familiar with how carbon offsets work.

In short, carbon offsets represents a reduction in carbon emissions or an increment in carbon capture (such as planting of trees that store the carbon). In practice, these offsets can be bought by companies in order to improve their environmental footprint on our planet. In other words, carbon offsets represent a way for companies to compensate for their destructive emissions.

The idea of carbon offsets have been around for more than 20 years and international policies such as the Kyoto Protocol or the Paris Agreement include regulations and guidelines for how companies and nations should work with the offsets. The importance of carbon offsets is a highly discussed topic in the sustainability industry. While some praise the ability it has to slow down the rate of global warming, others criticize how it creates another way for corporations to avoid taking responsibility for our planet.

The most known organization that verifies the validity of the carbon offsets is Verra. Through their standard known as VCS, they work to certify all the projects that want to convert their emission reductions into carbon offsets. Although other actors such as Plan Vivo and The Gold Standard are active in the market, Verra remains the most prominent.

BCT Makes Carbon Offsets More Available

So what does these carbon offsets have to do with crypto or the web3 space?

Put simply, BCT is making carbon offsets more accessible by making them available for purchase online with cryptocurrencies. By leveraging blockchain technology, Toucan (the creators behind BCT) is able to bridge certified carbon offsets into a pool of fungible ERC-20 tokens. These tokens can then be bought as BCT by any company or individual.

Here is a simplified explanation of how BCT works, from the project to the coin:

bct process simplified

More in-depth information on how BCT and Toucan works can be found in their docs.

The registry of all the projects that have been verified and bridged over to become BCT tokens lives on an on-chain registry on the Polygon network. Thus, anyone with access to a crypto wallet such as Metamask can simply purchase their preferred amount of BCT on decentralized exchanges such as Sushiswap.

  1. Projects are initiated and launched with the goal of reducing emissions. These could be anything from creating renewable energy through innovative solutions to reforestation of deforested areas.
  2. Projects are certified by the validating organization Verra who keeps a registry of all validated projects.
  3. Before being consider by Toucan, the offsets that will be transferred to the blockchains are retired in the registry. This ensures that every BCT represents the true value of carbon offsets by preventing duplicates.
  4. Offsets are moved into Polygon with the use of the Toucan Carbon Bridge. Projects are fractionalized into NFTs which are then stored into the Base Carbon Pool.
  5. The deposit then yields the equivalent value in ERC-20 BCT tokens which are then available in the market.

BCT is Given Another Boost

As more of us get more aware and cautious of our environment, the BCT coin provides a new way for individuals and companies to do good for our planet. Not only has the introduction of BCT made it easier to do good, but it has also reintroduced the market of carbon offsets which many people may not have heard of before.

Mikael Shams
Mikael Shams


Writing about technology, business and everything in between.