The hype of the NFTs, “non-fungible tokens” has lured many people to buy things they can’t even actually own.
NFTs are collectible digital assets that work somewhat like a type of cryptocurrency. This means anything unique can be stored and held value, leading to expensive prices. Even the first tweet of Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, is being sold for 2.9 million dollars according to the highest price being sold at that time.
But is it really worth it?
Who would have thought people would have gone crazy over an animated flying cat with a pop tart body and a rainbow? Moreover, anyone can use it as a GIF on social media so, what are you really getting, besides bragging rights?
More dangerously, creating an NFT has a stunning environmental footprint of over 200 kilograms of planet-warming carbon, equivalent to driving 500 miles in a typical American gasoline-powered car, according to a recent estimate. The theory is that as more people grow an interest and start mining, it is just going to lead to a bigger emissions impact unless their energy is carbon-free.
Unless these blockchains manage to change their model, now is not really the right time to introduce more carbon offsets into the environment. The good news is that Ethereum states that they “plan to cut its absurd energy consumption by 99 percent.” However, no one really knows when this is going to take place or if it is going to. It is said though that some smaller NFT platforms — including one known as Hic Et Nunc, which is based on the Tezos blockchain — have already started using proof of stake by the New York Times.
Yume Nay Win is a student at Adelphi University studying Bitcoin & Blockchain.