NFTs are world famous but unique cryptographic assets that are stored on the blockchain and use unique identification codes and metadata to distinguish them from one another.
The NFT ecosystem can potentially create a democratic landscape where anyone can trade their collectibles. Therefore, in the realm of NFTs, the world is your own rule.
But maintaining this rule becomes one of the greatest responsibilities.
And this is where the narrative about the effects of different types of blockchains on the environment finds relevance.
According to data from the World Economic Forum, most of the energy, or 78% for working cryptos, comes from renewable sources.
Much of this comes from the “surplus electricity”, which makes a significant contribution to avoiding the waste of unused renewable energy.
A new line of energy efficient blockchains begins with the release of an environmentally friendly NFT collection that focuses on reducing carbon emissions.
For example, Ethereum 2.0’s new Proof of Stake Model (PoS) will likely be 99% more energy efficient than its previous Proof of Work (PoW) version.
Or the upcoming Carbon Offset vIRL NFTs, which aim to ensure the planting of tree saplings to offset carbon emissions, meaning for every dollar spent paying back NFT, the National Forest Foundation will plant one sapling.
Each of these seedlings offsets around one ton of CO2 over the course of its lifetime.
There are even varieties to choose from, from four pack sizes to five tree designs and six rare species.
One package offered includes cards with a specific dollar value ranging from $ 1 to $ 100, where a $ 1 card would mean a single tree is planted and a $ 100 version would ensure 100 trees are planted .
This has enabled NFT companies to combine these virtual assets with the very physical assets and services like ecosystems, plants, etc.
Unlike other NFTs available in the market, these vIRL NFTs introduced in 2018 are unlimited but compostable.
They give their collectors the legibility to buy packs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Plus, once purchased, they can be collected, traded, and gifted in any way imaginable.
According to the statement by the brand (WAX, Worldwide Asset eXchange) that pioneered the issue of these NFTs: “We are setting higher standards for accountability across the blockchain. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that our blockchain is both energy efficient and inspires our community to act. “
And once the card is redeemed, it can be composted, it will no longer exist as such.
The NFT project on CO2 offsetting states: “The only way for the industry to be successful is for us all to take responsibility together. This includes innovating smarter technologies, reducing emissions and investing in plant life for clean, oxygen-rich air. “
Criticism of the Green NFTs:
Various artists who seem to have benefited from the craze think that it is a problem but it can be easily resolved.
The crypto-art with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can be bleakly responsible for the millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the cryptocurrencies that are also used to buy and sell.
For example, the former Ethereum (and many others), which is based on the “Proof of Work” security system, is quite energy-intensive.
This system leads people to solve complex puzzles with huge processing machines that allow users or “miners” to add a new “block” that identifies the verified transactions to the blockchain. This results in new tokens or transaction fees as a reward.
Some digital artists, such as Beeple, believe in a more sustainable future for NFTs.
There are several alternatives to this function, such as the “proof-of-stake” method or opening private networks on the “second” level and transferring transactions to “off-chain” operations or limiting the number of transactions or even sourcing renewable energy can help.
The Lightning Network Bitcoin, introduced in 2018, is a relevant example.
With alternatives available and contributors pushing for the shift to efficient NFTs, it becomes imperative to ensure that there is no other additional reason for the planet to burn, let alone our delusion.
As the effects of climate change continue to increase, we are now beginning to realize that we cannot eat or breathe money.