POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Blockchain for impact finance: Evercity eyes Luxembourg



Evercity CEO and co-founder Alexey Shadrin, pictured on the right during the UN Climate Change Conference COP25, also heads the finance working group at the UN-backed Climate Chain Coalition Evercity

Evercity CEO and co-founder Alexey Shadrin, pictured on the right during the UN Climate Change Conference COP25, also heads the finance working group at the UN-backed Climate Chain Coalition Evercity

Evercity, a startup in the process of registering in Luxembourg, presented its smart sustainable bond (SSB) protocol during this year’s Web Summit. 

Green and sustainable bonds are expected to reach a record $350bn in 2020. Evercity’s platform aims to democratise impact finance plus solve the “impact washing” problem, enabling such bonds on blockchain, in a bid to help close the $2.5trn annual sustainable development goals (SDG) investment gap. 

Its protocol is specifically designed to support the full lifecycle--structuring, issuance and reporting--of sustainability-linked bonds. Blockchain plays a central role in the financial transaction layer in this, Evercity co-founder and CEO Alexey Shadrin told Delano. “Once [data] is put into blockchain, it stays there, immutable, and nobody can do something fishy or fraud[ulent],” he said. “The green finance market is unfortunately exposed to fraud…but once we get this real data and put it into blockchain, we can assure that the impact was real, it was accountable.” And it’s through this unique value chain of impact that green bonds or carbon credits could be issued. 

Shadrin heads the finance working group at the UN-backed Climate Chain Coalition, which celebrates its third anniversary this December. He’s also co-founder--along with Evercity co-founder and design/marketing director, Liza Romanova--of the Russian Carbon Fund, which he says is “one of the only impact funds in Russia, and operating since 2011.” 

By 2021, the SSB protocol is expected to be seamlessly integrated with internet of things sensors which in turn provide an automatic coupon rate calculation, which Evercity says will not only enhance transparency and lower issuer expenses but also open the doors for smaller scale projects in developing countries. The team will present its work at the UN Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021. 

Ambitious plans for Luxembourg

Now Moscow-based, Shadrin said he’s currently in the process of registering Evercity in Luxembourg City, the completion of which he anticipates for January 2021. Currently seven strong, Evercity plans on relocating its headquarters to the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (Lhoft). He said Luxembourg was attractive not just for its geographical location and its being a financial and European centre, but also due to its advanced digital finance regulations and commitment to sustainable finance. It also allows the team to be at the heart of Europe's Green Deal.

And his plans are ambitious. “If all goes well, we want to launch a digital sustainable development goals finance centre in Luxembourg, or [some] initiative with regular publications,” he explained, adding that Evercity already currently provides a regular bulletin with developments in their areas of expertise. 

Evercity has technology and the UN Agenda 2030 at heart, but not just. “We are ecosystem builders, we organize hackathons [and] accelerators,” the CEO added. “And we are able to find various solutions that that we can plug into our platform to make it [even] stronger.”