Our paper on Blockchain-Based Carbon Market Analysis Accepted by IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine

Blockchain Publication

Our recent work “Harnessing Web3 on Carbon Offset Market for Sustainability: Framework and A Case Study” is accepted to be published in the IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine.


Blockchain has played a significant role in constructing the Metaverse and Web3, often attracting criticism for its high energy consumption and carbon emissions. However, the rise of sustainability-focused blockchains, particularly in conjunction with innovative wireless technologies, has transformed this predicament. To understand the role of blockchain in sustainability, we propose a three-tier structure based on the lifecycle of natural resources, encapsulating four utilities of blockchain: recording and tracking, wide verification, value trading, and concept disseminating.

Based on this, we conduct a case study on Nori, a carbon credit market running on blockchain. Nori leverages the characteristics of blockchain, including public and immutable records, widespread verification achieved through smart contracts, and value creation through token and NFT transactions, to address issues in traditional carbon emission markets.


In our research, we analyze the composition of the market’s buyers. As a Web3 project, Nori has attracted a diverse range of carbon credit NFT purchasers, including crypto-native users such as The Sandbox and STEPN, and traditional companies. This broad buyer base underscores Nori’s future market potential.

Next, we use Self-Organizing Maps clustering to reveal buyer categories in the Nori market. Buyers in the Nori market are divided into four types: 1) Experiential purchasers: seeking experience or trial investment, accounting for 87.9% of all buyers. 2) Voluntary carbon offset individuals: accounting for 7.6% of all buyers. They regularly purchase NRTs to align with personal carbon emission offset practices. 3) Investors and small organizations: occupying 4% of the market, including individuals who buy large amounts of NRTs and small and medium-sized enterprises performing annual carbon offsets. 4) Large-scale carbon offset organizations: consisting of a few large institutions, representing 0.5% of all buyers but accounting for 58.3% of market transactions. These institutions regularly purchase carbon offsets to offset their institutional emissions.

Following this, we use Granger causality tests to analyze factors influencing the volatility of the Nori market. Overall, energy prices and public opinion are the two main drivers of the Nori market, while cryptocurrency prices have not significantly impacted the Nori market. We also employ text mining to reveal trending topics and sentiments surrounding Nori.


This paper suggests that Web3-native projects like Nori may significantly impact carbon offsetting, and sustainability and carbon offsetting could become the new consensus in the blockchain field. Future research will focus on expanding the application range of blockchain technology in carbon offsetting.


This work was supported by the Shenzhen Science and Technology Program (Grant No. JCYJ20210324124205016), in part by the Shenzhen Key Lab of Crowd Intelligence Empowered Low-Carbon Energy Network (Grant No. ZDSYS20220606100601002), in part by the CUHK(SZ)-White Matrix Joint Metaverse Laboratory, in part by the SeeDAO, and in part by the Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Society. Thanks to SEEDAO and Matrix Labs for their support during the research process, this work also explores the innovative ways of collaborative research among universities, enterprises and DAOs.

Journal Information

IEEE Wireless Communications is designed for audience working in the wireless communications and networking communities. It covers technical, policy and standard issues relating to wireless communications in all media (and combinations of media), and at all protocol layers. All wireless/mobile communications, networking, computing and services will be covered. Each issue of this interdisciplinary magazine provides tutorial articles of high quality and depth concerning the revolutionary technological advances in wireless/mobile communications, networking and computing. The impact factor of IEEE Wireless Communications is now 12.9.

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Cite this work:

Chenyu Zhou, Hongzhou Chen, Shiman Wang, Xinyao Sun, Abdulmotaleb El Saddik and Wei Cai, Harnessing Web3 on Carbon Offset Market for Sustainability: Framework and A Case Study, IEEE Wireless Communications, 2023.

author={Chenyu Zhou and Hongzhou Chen and Shiman Wang and Xinyao Sun and Abdulmotaleb El Saddik and Wei Cai}, 
journal={IEEE Wireless Communications}, 
title={Harnessing Web3 on Carbon Offset Market for Sustainability: Framework and A Case Study},