NFT Environmental Impact - How Does It Affect Climate Change?
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NFT Environmental Impact – Everything You Need to Know

/ 12:03 AM February 04, 2022

Artists have sold many non-fungible tokens (digital collectibles), which has shaken the art world and created chances for artists and content creators. It has paved the way as mainstream audiences are encouraged to investigate non-fungible assets.

However, the world carries the brunt of the adverse effect of NFTs through carbon emissions.

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Making digital artworks requires massive computational power, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions.

When an artist uploads his work and taps a button to “mint,” the artist generates a process for mining. This requires complicated problems, processing power, and humongous energy. The preferred platform for NFTs, Ethereum transactions, uses a process known as proof of work.


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Independent studies have shown that to produce a typical NFT, a large impact of more than 200kg of global warming carbon is produced. This equals gas emissions from a gasoline-powered car that has driven about 500 kilometers.

What Are NFTs?

What Are NFTs?

In comprehendible words, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are unique and cannot be changed for something else. A non-fungible token is a non-transferable unit of data held on a blockchain, a digital ledger. NFT data units can be with digital assets such as images, movies, and audio.

Each token is uniquely identified and can be altered when traded for a different token.

Why Do Artists Hate NFTs?

Groups of artists on social media are going through a rough patch. This is due to Non-fungible tokens causing catastrophe to the online world. Some social media users are wary and skeptical and have chosen to lock their accounts and block unknown accounts to lose their hard-earned sweat.

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If you want to share your lovely work on social media, it is easy to make it available to the public. This is great for the ecosystem and everyone. If many people love your work, they will show you support by sharing their work or giving out money from their pockets. NFTs are ruining a good, age-old tradition.

Artists now sell and buy NFTs and content providers to extend art collections. It is impossible to claim ownership of a piece of art. It is impossible because anybody can get their version as JPEG or PNG.

However, the plan is that if your purchase brings you into the Ethereum blockchain ledger, you will have something to say that the piece of art belongs to you.

The environmental impact of NFTs is gradually becoming more popular, especially with people willing to conserve the earth. Aside from the ambiguity of owning a piece of media that anyone else can access through other means, the issue is that every NFT transaction consumes a massive amount of energy. A French artist, Joanie Lemercier, decided that a sale of a single piece of art through NFTs is equal to two years’ worth of electricity consumption in his studio.

How Does Cryptocurrency Hurt The Environment?

Digital currencies were of the design to be very difficult to mine, and this requires a huge sum of processing power to manufacture. This is so that nobody gains control over the entire network as an individual or organization. This proves that cryptocurrencies are decentralized and have no single point of control.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Doge use a proof of work (poW) method. This requires interested individuals to solve various difficult equations to mine coins and add new blocks of information to cryptocurrency blockchain technologies.

This was to fight cyber attacks in which a single individual creates tons of fake identities so that they can seize control of a large percentage of the network.

The lucky individual with the largest processing power has a huge chance of winning, and because of this reason, a lot of people on the network compete to be the first to solve these difficult equations and win money.

This has made many people acquire large mining rigs or chains of mining rigs to make solving equations faster. Because energy consumption is directly proportional to the size of the mining networks, there is always an increase in the quantity of energy used whenever there is a surge in mining a new coin.

Mining is not just the only thing consuming a lot of energy; a single digital currency transaction is to consume more than 2000 kW hours of electricity. This is the amount of power capable of powering a typical US household for about 80 days. The estimated carbon footprint generated by the power plants supplying such electricity is a huge concern for the environment.

What Is The Future Of NFT?

What Is The Future Of NFT?

The main aim of NFTs was to ensure that artists could make some money and have control over their work.

The possibilities of NFTs are limitless because NFTs can be of use to ascertain the ownership of a unique asset. There are already early NFTs as concert tickets, fan club memberships, or software licenses.

NFT provides a very strong proof of ownership and evidence that will last for eternity, unlike our regular buy and sell. In times to come, the digital art will have an NFT attached to it, provided that it is eco-friendly and supports carbon offset.

Is There An Environmentally Friendly Cryptocurrency?

It was in 2021 by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, that their electric carmaker would seize to accept bitcoin as payment for vehicles. The sale of the cryptocurrency nosedived from that moment drastically.

According to Elon Musk, his concern about the impact of the energy-intensive cryptocurrency on the environment. Many environmentalists agree with Elon Musk that cryptocurrency consumes a lot of energy.

Many alternatives have been available to do less harm to the environment. These cryptocurrencies could help the environment and alleviate concerns about cryptocurrency. Memo Akten, a digital artist, has created NFTs exclusively on energy-efficient and eco-friendly blockchains, such as those using the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. This is popular as #CleanNFTs, which require less energy than the Ethereum blockchain.

Smaller currencies may appear to have a lesser carbon footprint, although this is generally due to fewer transactions. However, digital assets are more energy-efficient, which implies they have a lower environmental impact.

Ripple (XRP) claims to be environmentally friendly because it does not require mining or proof of work. It has pledged to help the environment by being carbon neutral by 2030. According to TRG Datacenter’s analysis, XRP uses about 0.00011kWh.

Conclusion

To a certain degree, most of the solutions to combat the problem of climate pollution of NFTs are in progress, although they implement them non-extensively.

Most artists are the ones clamoring the most for change. Ultimately, artists are the ones pushing the most for change. If the marketplaces for NFTs do not start to integrate methods that would combat climate pollution, artists could start NFT drops on eco-friendly marketplaces.

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TOPICS: Climate change, evergreen, NFT, non-fungible token (NFT)
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