In recent times, CryptoArt has created many ripples in the NFT industry. These crypto NFTs have existed for several years in this digitized world, but their relevance is hugely felt in the current scenario. This is all due to the frequent use of blockchains and cryptocurrencies worldwide. More than anything else, it has even changed the perspective of graphic designers. It is not just a way to earn money but to consider themselves dynamic artists creating artwork for digital platforms. There are a lot of controversies surrounding CryptoArt and the usage of eco-friendly NFTs doing the rounds.
To see where the truth lies, have a quick peek at this article!
What is a CryptoNFT?
This digital artform is considered the physical one because of its authenticated possession in reality. All this verification and certification is possible by using NFT. A unique ID is associated with a specific art that is impossible to duplicate. This ID is linked with various art forms like images (JPEG, GIF), 3D images, videos, and audio(MP4). All these arts are created by crypto artists and stored in the blockchain.
Key NFT statistics
- The most prized NFT is worth more than $91.8 million.
- In the US, approx. 23% of millennials stockpile NFTs.
- The global NFT market was estimated at $232 Million in 2022.
- Asia is the largest continent, with the top five countries for NFT adoption.
- A single NFT meme sold for approx. $4 million.
- The high-cost NFT sold for nearly $90 million.
- The CryptoPunk NFT was sold for around $23.7 million, making it the fifth highest NFT sale of 2022
Grounds for a Hotter Crypto NFT
Crypto art/NFTs have become the center of attraction for digital artists. This was certainly considered the best model and considered to be much safer. But with time, it has been proved that these platforms are unsustainable and derive more energy.
For someone who doesn’t have much information about the blockchain and NFTs, the release of carbon emissions is a new topic. Now, the question arises of how the energy released could lead to heavy carbon emissions. Several estimations related to this topic show that around 70% of the mining procedures are performed through clean resources like fossil fuels. But the experts have some other assumptions. According to them, whatever energy is used is consumed irrespective of the clean or unclean. So, in certain parts, clean mining has driven the corresponding energy users to stained ones.
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Relationship Between NFTs and Environment
Several notions scream that NFTs and their impact on the climate go hand in hand. NFTs directly do not cause any harm to the surroundings, but it’s the minting that causes an adverse effect. Minting is a forward thing; before this, there was the listing of the NFT in the NFT marketplace. Listing is not energy-consuming but decides where minting needs to be done and how much energy will be utilized during the process.
For instance: the most commonly used NFT marketplace is “OpenSea,” along with the “Ethereum” blockchain platform. This shows that an extremely high amount of energy will be consumed in minting.
After listing, the NFTs are set to be purchased, which inadvertently aids minting. It requires a proof-of-work mechanism to authenticate the transactions along with minting. Now, the million-dollar question is how much energy is spent while minting?
To answer this question, we can say that it completely depends upon the transaction validation. But to be precise, it can be said that it is the same as the amount of fuel used by the airplane during the one-hour-long journey.
Purchasing NFTs leads to storage, but mere storing does not cause any harmful impact on the environment. But if the NFT needs to be transferred to another marketplace or individual, the whole procedure is repeated. It signifies the exact energy absorbed that was used for NFT minting Platform.
A substantial quantity of energy is consumed in the entire mining process. When a complicated puzzle needs to be solved by the miners, then massive computing hardware is used. This results in huge electricity absorption where every transaction block is verified.
The cryptoNFTs are enjoying a great place in the virtual market industry. But the unsustainable characteristic has hampered its popularity. The sale of art pieces on the blockchain is difficult; several platforms follow a flawless selling method to make it simpler for the artists. But the sad part is most of them are hinged on the ethereum blockchain, which is energy inefficient.
Subsequently, there are greener NFTs.
Reasons Behind NFT consuming massive energy
The basic thing that holds the preface is the use of the proof of work consensus algorithm (PoW), where a large section of miners are engaged in the tokenization of NFTs. The core thing is the initial one will receive the commission, and the rest will utilize energy without getting a commission. This work commission is known as gas fees, and not all of them receive it while using energy. It is the fundamental reason behind NFT using huge energy. Eventually, PoW requires large processing power to encrypt the transactions in the blockchain.
For example: As per IEA and Cambridge university, bitcoin mining uses energy equivalent to the energy used by the Netherlands in 2019.
Instead of PoW, PoS (Proof of Stake) can be used to validate a transaction because of the absence of miners. This saves energy to a larger extent. But till now, its application in ethereum is not executed. This consensus algorithm is eco-friendly and more efficient. Here, the transaction is verified by a single miner who is provided with the gas fee. Also, there is no competition against the blocks to get encrypted. Thus, energy is saved, or lesser energy is used, making it greener and making transactions energy efficient.
How to make NFT eco-friendly?
Numerous ways help make eco-friendly NFT. A few of them are mentioned as under ;
Investing in renewable energy:
Funding for renewable energy is the basic choice for greener NFT. As we know, NFT trading results in enormous profit and hefty prices. The best thing is to invest in inexhaustible energy. This is a long-term goal that curbs the negative effect of producing NFTs.
Using renewable energy
The only solution to the exhaustive climatic conditions is using renewable energy. Proof of work is a way to generate NFTs that is energy intensive. Many harmful emissions are produced, which are not good for the ecosystem. Therefore, solar energy, hydro, or wind energy can be seen as an option to mint NFTs in the most productive way.
Purchasing carbon offset credits
Another thing that acts as a support system to save the environment is to buy carbon offset credits. Carbon is not supposedly reduced but offers the financial incentive that lessens the poisonous emissions yearly.
Investment in innovative technologies
The adverse effects of the NFT minting are reversed by utilizing innovative technologies. This help overturns its detrimental impacts. There are diverse unconventional technologies that can pump Co2 emissions that are kept in carbon capture and stored in the ground. It’s better to put some part of the money into developing such technologies that help resolve the climate change disaster.
The climate is on the verge of a crisis, and the environment is getting polluted daily. On top of that, there are NFTs whose minting has annihilated atmospheric conditions. Previously, there used to be no impact on the people related to the pollutants released. But with constant awareness, people are now opting for greener NFTs that are eco-friendly in nature. These are harmless and do not cause any destruction to the environment.
What are the requirements for an environmentally friendly NFT platform?
The long-term sustainability of the NFT platforms and the cryptoarts depend on many factors. These are fully responsible for creating a suitable guide plan.
Have a look at some of them as under;
- Strong commitment to guidance and transparency for the crypto artists.
- A set of actions like side chains, layer 2 scalings, lazy minting, and creating solutions for PoW while encompassing bounties to proof-of-stake.
- Donations to fund the eco-friendly impressions.
- The incredible thing is to avoid ethereum, but in today’s scenario, it looks impossible.
Ethereum 2.0 is considered to be a substitution for the ethereum. Certain possibilities show that it might solve the issue. This clearly shows that the funds allocated for reducing the carbon footprint are relevant to the environment.
Keeping ethereum in mind, various ways help in upgrading the carbon footprint of NFTs.
Strategies to enhance carbon footprint
Such type of minting involves the creation of NFT when it’s ready to get purchased. The NFTs are available off-chain, and the artist need not pay the gas fees in advance. The process becomes simpler and more affordable, eliminating unwanted transactions that draw lots of electricity.
Layer 2 scaling enhancement
Such scaling acts upon the fundamental blockchain protocol to optimize efficiency, flexibility, and adaptability. Again, it is used to amplify the transactional speed and lower the gas fees. The strengthening of the ethereum layer 2 solutions has the capability to alter the entire landscape of the blockchain network. It follows all the safety measures and transacts swiftly without spending much time, leading to cost efficiency.
The bridges create a passage for the diverse blockchains. This is the best way to drive compatibility and interoperability between the blockchains. It is designed to develop interaction among multiple networks. The main benefit of the bridges is not to hamper the data while moving the crucial information from ETH to a slightly lesser chain.
A completely different blockchain is unconventional and linked to the ethereum mainnet via a two-way bridge. They have distinct algorithms and parameters that are helpful in the subsequent processing of transactions. It is known that NFTs are generally minted on the non-ethereum proof-of-stake and are later shifted to ethereum. But if they are not shifted, a lot of energy can be saved, and efficiency is improved.
Considering the above pointers, one can definetly say that there are networks other than Ethereum that consume minimum energy. Some examples are Algorand, proof of stake networks, Tezos, Hashgraph, and many more. These are great networks to reduce carbon footprints.
Carbon emissions are not a new thing. It is caused by many other things like airplanes, poisonous gases released by large-scale industries, etc. Many digital artists think that targeting crypto NFTs to that extent is unfair. They agree with adopting the greener NFTs or environmentally friendly NFT platforms.
SuperRare is another option that can make transactions much simpler and more efficient. But the only concern is that it involves security adjustments that could hamper the quality. So, more than SuperRare, it’s ethereum 2.0 that has created a lot of buzz in the crypto world. The crypto enthusiasts and the digital artists are looking beyond the small-time gain and are more focussed on changing the habits for good.
Don’t delay; Hurry up!!