San Marino Republic Adopts VeChainThor Blockchain To Strive To Become The First Carbon Neutral Country

5 min readJul 25, 2019


San Marino, July 22, 2019 — A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Republic of San Marino Secretary of State for Industry, Trade, Business, Cooperation and Telecommunications, Republic of San Marino Innovation Institute S.p.A, DNV GL Business Assurance Group AS and VeChain Foundation Limited.

La Repubblica di San Marino, primo stato ad impatto zero con la tecnologia Blockchain

VeChain and DNV GL, together with San Marino Innovation, will guide the Republic toward the adoption of blockchain technology, crypto-utility token infrastructure and utility token use cases, in order to define models capable of incentivizing sustainable behavior from its 33,562 citizens. It is part of San Marino’s strategy to develop, promote, and deliver a full ecosystem of technological innovation to facilitate digital transformation.

From left: Sunny Lu, Founder of VeChain; Andrea Zafferani, Segretario di Stato Segreteria di Stato per l’Industria, l’Artigianato e il Commercio, il Lavoro, la Cooperazione e le Telecomunicazioni della Repubblica di San Marino; Renato Grottola Global Director — M&A and Digital Transformation, DNV GL — Business Assurance; Sergio Mottola, Presidente San Marino Innovation — Istituto per l’Innovazione della Repubblica di San Marino S.p.A.

The first carbon-neutral country: blockchain transforms civic engagement.

The “San Marino Low Carbon Ecosystem” was proposed by DNV GL, in collaboration with VeChain. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions and subsequently, implement circular economy business models.

The platform will encourage environmentally friendly practices such as water saving, waste disposal and management. The practices will be rewarded through a utility token, the San Marino Innovation Token (SMIT) issued by San Marino Innovation, which can be used to access services offered within the Republic. The introduction of the low carbon ecosystem represents a first global example of incentivization top-down from a national level government body to the nation’s citizens through the use of blockchain technology and a utility token issued on the VeChainThor Blockchain. This will be the first of many dynamic use cases of SMIT within the Republic. In the future, working groups among the two partners involving technical and legal specialists as well as institutions will be established to guarantee swift and effective operations.

“We are particularly proud of this Memorandum of Understanding that certifies the Republic of San Marino as the ideal place to foster a culture of experimentation and bring blockchain to our everyday lives. We’ll give life to a project that will directly engage citizens and reward their sustainable behavior, while also meeting the country’s demands in regards to CO2 emissions reduction, water-saving, and waste disposal and management. Our ambitious goal is to become the first zero-emissions country in the world,” said Andrea Zafferani, Republic of San Marino Secretary of State for Industry, Trade, Business, Cooperation and Telecommunications.

Leveraging trust and transparency of blockchain to power sustainability.

Sunny Lu, Founder of VeChain: “VeChain’s fundamental strategic goal is to push for blockchain mass adoption in a manner that will change people’s lives for the better. We are pleased and excited to work with San Marino and DNV GL to help create a country level top-down driven ecosystem and the launch of the San Marino Innovation Token with blockchain utility at its core. The initiative is significant and unique to any country-led blockchain project. We are excited to be part of this impressive accomplishment and honored that San Marino Innovation selected the VeChainThor Blockchain to be the underlying blockchain technology infrastructure that will power the token. This is not just a significant milestone achieved for VeChain, but for the entire blockchain community. We will utilize all of our technical know-how, our tokenization experience and the global influence of the VeChain ecosystem to make sure this project can create a tremendous amount of value to the citizens of San Marino”.

Real projects kick-off after a full year of intense work.

“This is an excellent accomplishment that comes after a year of intense work and activities. We are proud to have signed the Memorandum of Understanding together with DNV GL Business Assurance Group AS and VeChain Foundation Limited, as this represents a clear sign of the attractiveness generated by San Marino in regards to technological innovation. These are real projects that will soon provide tangible results.” states Sergio Mottola, President of San Marino Innovation. “We demonstrated that the political strategies aimed to reward the citizen, which are already partially in place through the SmaC circuit, paired with blockchain technology, recently regulated by a Decree-Law ratified a few months ago, can successfully attract relevant partners. The San Marino Innovation Token is the right catalyst to encourage investments and deliver ambitious projects”.

“San Marino represents a unique opportunity to create a bridge between the digital and the traditional world. A major step toward the rapid adoption of such projects, that lay the foundation for a future of meaningful interaction among individuals sharing the same vision: creating a tangible, positive impact for our planet” adds Renato Grottola, Global Director — M&A and Digital Transformation, DNV GL — Business Assurance. “We’re happy and proud to be part of this project, to build a future that here, in San Marino, already exists.”

About VeChain

Starting in June 2015, VeChain aims to connect blockchain technology to the real world by providing a comprehensive governance structure, a robust economic model, and IoT integration. VeChain is the pioneer of real-world applications using public blockchain technology, with international operations in Singapore, Luxembourg, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, Hong Kong, and San Francisco.

About DNV GL — Business Assurance

DNV GL is one of the world’s leading certification bodies. We help businesses manage risk and assure the performance of their organizations, products, people, facilities and supply chains through certification, verification, assessment and training services. We combine technical, digital and industry expertise to empower companies’ decisions and actions. DNV GL has partnerships with multiple technology providers, such as blockchain provider VeChain. We continually expand our ecosystem of partners to bring a wide range of innovative solutions to the market. Working with our customers and partners, we build sustainable business performance and solutions, creating stakeholder trust across all types of industries.

About San Marino Innovation

San Marino Innovation was incorporated by the Government of the Republic of San Marino to drive open innovation initiatives, grow the ecosystem and the presence of San Marino as an Innovation Hub internationally. We are effectively the Government Innovation Institute which manages corporate innovation projects, incubation and acceleration of startups, and international relations to facilitate technology exchange.

For news inquiries, please email to

DNV GL Announcement

San Marino Innovation Announcement




Vechain, based in San Marino, Europe built VechainThor, a powerful blockchain enabling a sustainability revolution