It’s no secret that the world is grappling with an environmental crisis, and the need to find sustainable solutions to how we live, work, and play has never been more urgent. Why are NFTs bad for the environment? Because some people try to exaggerate and worry about what they shouldn’t when there are other more pressing problems to deal with regarding the environment. But, it is normal when new technology threatens to further damage the planet. Understandably, people would be worried.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have been getting much attention lately; some could be better. There are concerns that the energy-intensive process of creating and verifying NFTs could harm the environment. But are those concerns valid? In this article, I’ll look at the environmental impact of NFTs and see if they really are as bad as people think.
What Is An NFT?
An NFT is a digital asset that is stored on a blockchain. Because they are stored on a decentralized ledger, they are unique and cannot be replicated. This makes them valuable as they can represent ownership of digital items such as art, music, or even virtual real estate. NFTs have been around for a few years, but they only started gaining mainstream attention in the past months. This is thanks to the rise of platforms such as Ethereum, which has made it easier to create and trade NFTs.
Why Are NFTs Bad For The Environment?
There are two main concerns why NFTs could be bad for the environment. First, the process of creating NFTs is energy-intensive and requires a lot of computing power to verify transactions on the blockchain. This concern is simply misunderstanding how blockchains work, and to better understand, I advise you to read this article at Crypto Briefing.
Second, NFTs are often stored on the blockchain, which means they are permanent and cannot be recycled. This could lead to a build-up of digital clutter that takes up space on the blockchain and uses energy to store and verify.
Why NFTs Aren’t Bad For The Environment:
Despite the concerns, there are a few reasons why NFTs might not be as bad for the environment as people think. First, the energy used to create NFTs is often offset by the energy saved by not having to physically create and store the assets they represent. Think about traditional art, the materials, paper, paints, creation, and distribution of that material. So, is digital art better for the environment? Probably.
Second, NFTs can be made on various blockchains, including those that are more energy-efficient. For example, the IOTA blockchain uses a Proof-of-Work system designed to be more energy-efficient. And the transition of Ethereum to Proof-of-Stake, according to his Foundation, reduced Ethereum’s energy consumption by 99.95%
The reader may say that building computers also increases the carbon footprint, which is true. But there is no carbon neutrality, and building an electric car, and its batteries also creates a carbon footprint on the planet.
We must focus on more energy-efficient solutions to the most comprehensive problems. This means concentrating efforts on what matters and reducing the impact on the planet.
What Can Be Done To Make NFTs More Environmentally Friendly
A few things still could be done to make NFTs more environmentally friendly:
- NFTs could be created on more energy-efficient blockchains. As we’ve seen, Ethereum is one of many blockchains available, and others use less energy too.
- NFTs could be created using renewable energy. This would offset the carbon emissions from the point used to create them.
- NFTs could be recycled, allowing them to be reused instead of stored on the blockchain permanently.
The Bottom Line
NFTs are a new and evolving technology, and it is still early to say whether they are bad for the environment (they might not be as people think). However, a few things could be done to make NFTs more sustainable. Switching to a more energy-efficient blockchain, using renewable energy to create NFTs, and recycling NFTs instead of storing them permanently on the blockchain are all possible solutions that would make NFTs more environmentally friendly. But it’s unfair to blame NFTs for increasing the carbon footprint when we have other things that are far more polluting. We have to worry about solutions for more significant problems, not just find scapegoats.