There has been a lot of talk about NFTs and energy usage. It’s an important conversation to have, as we only have one planet, and climate change is real.
It’s also important to have the facts and some perspective. First the facts.
Not all NFTs are bad for the environment. There are two main kinds of blockchain technology; one that uses a lot of energy with a system called Proof of Work, like the Ethereum Network; and one that is far more energy efficient with a system called Proof of Stake, like the Centrality CENNZnet network.
Even the Ethereum network, which currently uses the energy hungry Proof of Work system, is in the process of upgrading to the climate friendly Proof of Stake system. It’s important that this upgrade happens just like it’s important we transition from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles.
NFTs don’t produce carbon by themselves. Blockchains produce blocks whether NFTs are being minted or not. The NFT itself doesn’t cause more carbon than the system consumes.
If you calculate the energy directly attributed to NFTs it is a very energy-hungry process when viewed in isolation, but it is alway important to view these metrics against the alternative, or even against arbitrary frivolous things.
Art has a history of taking a negative toll on the planet, as many paints and materials used in making art are toxic. Additionally the current means for art sale and exchange requires a lot of carbon-heavy logistics, whereas digital art does not. A world without creative expression wouldn’t be a great world to live in. We all need to look at these issues with balance.
In another example, it costs the planet more in carbon replying “thank you” to emails per year than it costs in carbon for all NFTs minted on top 10 platforms to date! So if you want to save the planet, be less nice!
Having said all of that. We take climate change seriously and we want to make sure that our projects aren’t making the situation worse. Any NFTs that we mint will be offset by more than twice in carbon credits we purchase through local kiwi green tech company CarbonClick.