Why Artists wanting to sell their work via NFT face the challenge of confronting the environmental footprint.
Table of contents
What is an NFT?
Chiefly NFT stands for “non-fungible token“. Further, it can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs,
songs, or items in video games.
Mainly, it can either be one of a kind. Basically, like a real-life painting, or one copy of many, like trading cars.
Further, the blockchain keeps track of who has ownership of the file.
Basically, it is a unique cryptocurrency token. What’s more, it can take the form of pretty much anything digital like art. As well as, a GIF or even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first tweet.
Essentially, there have been some initial estimates of how much power an NFT uses up. As well as, consequently how much planet-heating pollution that generates.
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NFT – How Does It Impacts the Environment?
Firstly, NFTs themselves do not impact the environment, but how they are minted can have substantial environmental consequences simply put.
Further, it is listed in a digital marketplace. Usually, before an NFT is minted, it’s listed in the NFT marketplace.
Furthermore, While listing an NFT is not energy intensive, the location of the NFT listing will generally determine how much energy the minting process will require simply put.
Mainly, choosing an NFT marketplace like the Ethereum platform that uses proof of work, means that the mining process will be energy intensive, at least for now to explain.
Firstly, it is purchased: The purchase of an NFT is often the catalyst, the NFT to be minted.
Additionally, using proof of work, the NFT is minted or mined. Basically, by cryptocurrency miners who control extensive computing resources.
Chiefly, the mining process is energy-intensive. Additionally, with specialized computing hardware that uses vast amounts of electricity.
Secondly, miners race to quickly solve complex math problems, thus earning the right to mint the NFT to explain.
Additionally, it is stored or transferred: first, Once the NFT purchase is complete, you can store the NFT or transfer it to another person.
Especially, if you transfer the NFT marketplace that uses proof of work. And then, the same energy-intensive process that uses for minting the NFT is repeating for the transfer.
Simply storing an NFT does not consume energy.
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First, a worldwide network of miners is competing to validate blocks of transactions including NFT transactions.
Additionally, requiring every participating miner to extensively consume electricity.
Even though only one miner validates each new block of transaction.
Additionally, every transaction on the Ethereum proof-of-work platform uses more than 260 kilowatts of electricity.
Essentially, equivalent to the electricity used by an average U.S. household over 9.05 days.
For example, a “Space Cat” that’s basically a GIF of a cat in a rocket heading to the Moon simply put.
Additionally, Space Cat’s carbon footprint is equivalent to an EU resident’s electricity usage for two months.
Further, the average NFT has a carbon footprint somewhat lower than Space Cat’s. But it is still equivalent to more than a month’s worth of electricity for a person living in the EU to explain.
Chiefly, NFTs are also damaging to the environment because the amount of energy required to mint an item on the blockchain is so huge.
NFT-Can It Becomes Sustainable?
It looks like everyone is excited about Ethereum merging, even the White House.
Firstly, environmental concerns lead to a list of arguments against further development of Blockchain technology simply put.
Second, the coming shift of the de-facto blockchain to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism for verifying transactions recorded onto.
Further, it looks to resolve one of its most often discussed issues along with encouragement toward future growth simply put.
Blockchains operating under this consensus mechanism pose a considerably lower” risk as they are scaling up.
Of course, compared to their proof-of-work counterparts.
Currently, these are far from an exception to the potential environmental toll of blockchain technology.
Furthermore, as detailed in an Article from computational artist Memo Akten, each transaction on Ethereum-powered platforms reportedly consumes a similar amount of energy as a multi-hour flight to put it simply.
It includes minting, which allegedly consumes the same amount of energy as a “1-2” hour flight simply.
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Ethereum takes up to “20% to 39% of the global energy usage generated by blockchains. Essentially, the upcoming Ethereum Merge may help reach a sharp reduction in blockchain energy consumption.
Although while, things are looking up for Ethereum, Bitcoin must follow suit in adopting a more environmentally friendly consensus mechanism to put it simply.
Secondly, the U.S. is currently the world’s leading force in Bitcoin mining. Simply, a position that may become environmentally sustainable down the road.
Additionally, it is true that these are a type of token and are not the same as cryptocurrency.
However, these live as digital assets on the blockchain simply put.
And then, they are purchased, sold, as well as valued – almost exclusively using crypto.
Further, these are a type of digital asset. Moreover, many traders have accrued a decent profit using these assets.
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The Push to Less Intensive Platforms
Shifting Ethereum from PoW to PoS in Ethereum 2.0 and worked on platforms like TEZOS, which uses PoS blockchain applications that are eco-friendly be amazing.
Chiefly, Artists would significantly help in their mission to work sustainably.
Secondly, the creativity of the ecosystem is creating interesting solutions to addressing blockchains today.
Further, there are projects that try to have crypto miners use clean energy sources like hydropower vs. fossil fuels.
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Can It Use Less Energy?
Firstly, minting or transferring digital art is usually energy intensive. Basically, it does not have to be.
Moreover, Blockchain Platforms using the proof-of-stake operating method can generate digital art. Actually, excessively using electricity, and negatively impacts the environment.
The proof-of-stake method uses less energy than proof-of-work. Essentially, it does not require the extensive use of computing hardware.
Whereas, miners participating in a proof-of-work blockchain network are motivated to consume electricity in an attempt to successfully mine a block.
Again, Validators contributing to a proof-of-stake blockchain are obliged to stake.
Chiefly, agree to not trade or sell their cryptocurrency holdings.
Additionally, implementing a staking requirement for blockchain validators is a way to secure a blockchain.
Without requiring the network participants to additionally, excessively consume energy.
Once Ethereum switches from proof of work to proof of stake, the energy consumption will drop by 99.95%. Further, to about the equivalent of 20 minutes of television.
Investors who prioritize environmental, social, as well as governance issues can still buy NFTs.
Moreover, any digital art that is minted using the proof-of-stake method is potentially considered suitable for an ESG investors portfolio to put it simply.
Where to Buy Energy-efficient NFTs?
If you want to buy an NFT without causing harm to the environment then you have several purchasing options.
Second, choosing a marketplace that uses a proof-of-stake blockchain or NFTs minted on one can significantly reduce their environmental imprint simply.
a. Ethereum –
First, the blockchain is for everything from simple token exchanges to NFTs, smart contracts, dApps, and more. The NFT market Open Sea uses Ethereum.
b. Solana –
Second, the Solana blockchain supports a broad range of marketplaces, including Magic Eden, Solana Art, and Rabbit Hole.
c. Algorand –
Third, the Algorand blockchain supports Aorist, a climate-focused blockchain for artists, in addition to several marketplaces.
The Algorand blockchain well supports because the blockchain as it will never fork or split into duplicate versions.
Cardano is a blockchain is environmentally friendly. NFT marketplaces hosted on Cardano include CNFT and Galaxy of Art.
e. Tezos –
The Tezos blockchain hosts several marketplaces, including Rarible, which operates a marketplace and supports artists’ creation of NFTs.
The NFT space is riddled with scams. Besides, a serious lack of accountability continues to plague collectors.
Additionally, consumer protections will likely mean widespread changes for all within the ecosystem.
But especially as it relates to the anonymity that, to date, many creators have enjoyed.
Further, this could bring in new forms of accountability that end up benefiting collectors.
But of course, only time will tell whether these changes will be overwhelmingly beneficial or detrimental to the ecosystem.
Additionally, the concept of Clean NFTs is understood more broadly than just from minting to storing. Further, it actually also includes the creation of the content.
In creating the media object, is there green electricity involved?
Further, while people try to hash out the kinks in all of these proposed solutions, the climate crisis grows more dire every day.
Ultimately, artists are the ones pushing the most for change.
Similarly, if marketplaces for NFTs don’t start to meet their demands, artists could start minting their NFTs on marketplaces using cleaner cryptocurrencies.
Thirdly, there is already an artist-led effort to raise money to reward people who can figure out new ways to make crypto art more sustainable.
This blockchain is more eco-friendly than Ethereum and offers carbon-neutral minting and zero-gas fees.
The EOSIO Delegated Proof of Stake consensus algorithm is energy efficient and does not incentivize server farms to mine constantly.
As such, NFTs built on this platform are much more sustainable.
It does not require a lot of energy and neither does storing it.
Purchasing and transferring NFTs, however, relies on mining the blockchain and uses significant energy, which is bad for the environment and can affect climate change.
Negatives include high mining costs, volatile pricing, and a high prevalence of imitation projects and fraud.
Being a digital version of rare assets, they have opened doors for both collectors and artists to make a living by selling and buying or even trading for profits like a crypto investment.
Other perks as digital assets include fewer maintenance costs and greater asset security.
The reality is that NFTs are merely another thing for rich people to waste their money on.
The tweet that sold for $2.9 million can just as easily be screenshotted and saved on your phone and immortalized in the cloud for the cost of zero dollars.