NFT Environmental Impact: Everything You Need To Know
NFT Environmental Impact: Everything You Need To Know
Are you wondering about the NFT environmental impact but don’t know where to learn more? Read on and learn more about it here.
Keyword(s): nft environmental impact
In 2020, global NFT transactions skyrocketed over $300 million.
If you’ve even peeked at social media, you’ve seen growing hype around non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Logan Paul, Grimes, and even William Shatner have made millions in selling these digital assets.
Much like Bitcoin, the creation and buying of NFTs take a whole lot of computer power. You’ve probably heard of some of the conversations around the NFT environmental impact.
You’re also probably wanting to know more about these conversations, whether you’re concerned or just want to understand what everyone’s talking about. We’ll explain more below.
Wait, What Is an NFT?
Before learning more about the environmental impact of NFTS, let’s talk about what they are. It can get confusing so try to stay with us. (Our glossary is a helpful tool to check out when learning about this.)
NFTs, non-fungible tokens, are digital pieces of art that are one-of-a-kind. They can be digital paintings, videos, song clips, or even a single digital signature. The possibilities are endless.
When we say they’re one-of-a-kind, we mean that the artist and current buyer/owner of the NFT hold the rights to the original work. The artist is able to keep the reproduction rights of the work. The buyer has ownership of the NFT stock until they decide, if they decide, to sell the work.
There are several blockchains creating their own types of NFTs, but the source of NFTs stems from the Ethereum blockchain.
We know you’re wanting the juicy eco details. But understanding Ethereum is important too.
Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain, like Bitcoin. This blockchain holds the financial information of buyers and sellers and the data from all transactions through the platform.
Operating through the blockchain allows for transparency among peers, and it makes the chance of theft very low. All you need is a wallet to get started!
Transactions using this blockchain are powered by Ether. It’s like a type of currency and the battery juice of the operation. Unfortunately, these transactions use tons of electricity due to the need for mass amounts of computing power.
Are NFTs an Ecological No-No?
We hope you’re still with us after the above introduction. Let’s get into the good stuff.
There’s been major controversy around the rise of NFT stock. Many environmental activists and internet users have spoken against the use of NFTs, causing some artists to cancel their NFT launches.
It’s reported that Ethereum, the platform original NFTs stemmed from, consumes as much energy as the entire country of Chile. When humans use electrical energy, we greatly increase the emission of greenhouse gases and use valuable stored water.
Environmentalists heavily blame climate change on the emissions of these greenhouse gases. High levels of carbon in the atmosphere can also negatively affect crops and ecosystems.
Using large amounts of water drains our reserves of clean water we have for drinking, watering crops, and distributing to the community. Not to mention, the mechanics used to distribute water also require electrical energy.
An Attempt to Offset Carbon Emissions
Mike Winkelmann (better known online as Beeple) sold an NFT for $69 million. Moving past the initial shock of the selling price, people began to talk about Winkelmann’s personal mark on the environment because of the amount of energy used in his NFT transactions.
He announced he could neutralize the effects of carbon emissions by investing in conservation efforts and renewable energy. The artist announced it would take about $5,000 to offset the emissions of a single collection.
Is It Really That Bad?
NFT creators, despite the gloomy details, have pointed out NFTs are a tiny fraction of the Ethereum blockchain. A majority of NFT supporters believe the creation and trading of NFTs don’t cause an impact big enough to worry about.
Some people have compared it to booking a plane ticket. If a plane is intended to fly 95 passengers across the globe, should 5 last-minute passengers be blamed for the creation of carbon emissions?
Questions like the one above also leave people to wonder if there are bigger fish to fry. And with blockchain technology being so new, has research been conducted long enough to condemn the creation of non-fungible tokens?
Will we only find the answers to our questions in time?
The Bigger Fish to Fry
Like other readers, you may be wondering about the bigger fish to fry. One of those fish is mining.
Mining for cryptocurrency is like solving ultra-hard math problems before other people solve the math problems. Except, by solving math problems, we mean validating transactions on a blockchain.
Some lucky people are rewarded for validating the transactions. They’re rewarded with digital coins. While it’s rare, the rewards are massive and therefore provide a major incentive for miners.
However, mining requires astronomical amounts of computing power. There have even been entire warehouses created for the purpose of mining cryptocurrencies, complete with special computers and hardware.
This is all on purpose. If mining cryptocurrency was easy and cheap, everyone would do it. But that’s not how the cookie crumbles.
The Final Decision
We can already hear the unanimous groan, but the final vote of whether NFTs are harmful or not is up to you.
Some people are against the energy used to create and trade NFTs while others think it’s merely a drop in the bucket compared to other energy-sucking companies.
If it’s any comfort, there are tons of people around the world working to make the crypto world a greener place. For example, one company is learning how to turn oil waste into energy that can power blockchain transactions.
Let’s continue to hope and encourage a more environmentally friendly future for crypto and NFTs!
The NFT Environmental Impact: Do We Panic?
Stepping into the NFT world is like falling down a rabbit hole. There’s a lot of cool stuff to discover, but many worry about the NFT environmental impact.
We can all agree that the creation and transactions around NFTs take a lot of energy, but artists are working to neutralize their effects. It’ll be exciting to see how blockchain technology becomes greener.
Are you wanting more NFT hot news, tips, and tricks? Check out the rest of our site, and get in touch with us today.