You probably have heard someone talking about NFTs, it's making the news lately, sometimes for a good reason, but there's also a lot of controversy around them, so let's talk about it.
NFTs environmental impact
According to Frontier Group, analysts with focus on creating a more suistanable world:
NFTs are minted on the Ethereum blockchain, the second most popular after Bitcoin. One analysis found the energy footprint of the average transaction on this network is roughly 35 kWh — about the same as powering a refrigerator for a month.(1)
And that's obviously a problem, NFTs being a new trend, it's inevitable that it will be scrutinized. And that's a good thing, it brings awareness to the impact our daily life on our planet. Let's try to put things in perspective:
- Amazon activities tied to its businesses emitted 51.17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year, (2)
Each iPhone X production: 79 kg of CO2 (3).
- Overall 2019 iPhone production: 18.9 million metric tons of CO2(3)
- Average car production: 12 tons of CO2 during production (without accounting for later use) (4)
- Annual emissions from the world's merchant fleet have already reached 1.12bn tonnes of CO2, or nearly 4.5% of all global emissions (5)
- Ethereum makes up 0.02% to global emissions and NFTs make up 3% of Ethereum processing. NFTs make 0,0006% of global emissions.(6)
We like it or not, every action we make has an impact. People are not going to stop buying iPhones, new cars, etc. Even the metal straw you bought to save the planet probably came from China in a merchant ship. But I consider NFTs controversy a good thing. For two reasons:
Ethereum (NFTs base) is 99% of its emissions
NFTs environmental impact data and news soon will be outdated. Starting on April 14th, Ethereum, the system NFTs are based, is trainsitioning from proof of work to Proof of stake, this means that energy comsumption to mint will be reduced by 99%.(7)
While the information has probably been overblown (you're not saving the planet by harrasing an artist for doing NFTs from your new iPhone), It's a good thing we're talking about our CO2 footprint to try to minimize and offset our impact in the world.
My approach to NFTs
I see NFTs as a really unique opportunity to empower artists and collectors, but also to create a positive change, if done right.
Because of that, I plan to offset for 150x times the CO2 estimated to be generated by each NFT. This is not just going carbon neutral, I'm trying to make a positive impact with my art, and hopefully it becomes a trend.
In addition to that, I'm launching along with Alex Solís (https://www.oddworx.com), in collaboration with 4ocean.com, an NFT to bring awareness about the ocean plastic pollution, and in addition to being carbon negative, we're trying to raise $20k for the cause.
As you can imagine I've read quite a lot for this, and while I don't expect everyone to agree with me, I honestly think that we're doing something with an enormous potential to have a positive impact in the world.