NFT technology has brought tons of benefits to the creative and entertainment industries. For instance, artists can earn fair returns and royalty payments for their work. On the other hand, collectors can enjoy owning one-of-a-kind art pieces and investors can enjoy trading in limited-edition NFT art whose value is usually high. NFT technology is even helping the Ukrainian government to save an indestructible record of the country’s cultural DNA in the midst of the Russian invasion.
Despite the numerous benefits that NFT technology has brought to the world, this technology also contributes to global warming and environmental decline. To put this into perspective, every transaction that goes into the creation, sale and transfer of one NFT consumes over 260 kilowatts of energy. This is equivalent to the amount of electricity one American household consumes in 9.05 days. Given the amount of energy that is consumed in the creation, sale and transfer of a single NFT, this technology contributes dramatically to global carbon emissions.
Given that the environment is already on the brink of collapse, these figures are alarming. While NFT technology has brought the world so many benefits, it’s also costly to the environment around us. The creation of NFT art without an awareness of this cost may likely contribute to steady environmental decline in the near future.
Why does NFT technology consume so much energy?
Most NFT art runs on the Ethereum network which depends on Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanisms. This is a technique used to validate transactions that relies on a network of miners or nodes – machines that solve complex mathematical equations. As more nodes are added to the network, the level of complexity, and thus energy needed to solve each equation, increases. Miners on the Ethereum network are rewarded in gas fees for solving these equations.
Given that there are multiple transactions behind each NFT, NFTs generate a larger carbon footprint than the average transaction that runs on the Ethereum network. To put this into perspective, each stage from the minting, bidding, cancelling, sales and ownership transfer of an NFT requires a separate transaction.
How to reduce energy consumption with NFTs
NFT artists and content creators who are environment-conscious tend to struggle to create NFT art once they’re aware of how damaging it is to the environment. Once this realization hits, many artists who have just ventured into the NFT space go back to creating art without NFT technology, opting out of the NFT model altogether. Other artists would rather stay in the NFT sphere and create NFT art that educates the public on the environmental impact of NFT technology.
Aside from educating NFT buyers, many NFT developers who opt to stay in the NFT space prefer to do something more concrete to reduce their energy consumption. Alternatively, some of these developers find ways to contribute to environmental conservation efforts through their work.
Use Proof-of-Stake (PoS) instead of Proof-of-Work
Some NFT marketplaces have switched to Proof-of-Stake over Proof-of-Work as a verification mechanism. PoS consumes less energy because it doesn’t rely on miners solving complex equations to verify a transaction. Rather, PoS requires users to “stake” some of their cryptocurrency as collateral. A user can lose this collateral if they make a mistake during the verification process.
Ethereum actually has plans to switch from PoW to PoS, in which case the platforms transactions will consume a lot less energy.
Sell NFTs with a carbon offset
In order to cut down on the detrimental effects that their art has on the environment, some artists sell their NFT art with carbon offsets. Some marketplaces have also started selling carbon offsets with the art they host.
Build on the blockchain
Instead of performing all the NFT-related transactions on the blockchain, it’s also possible to build a separate chain off the blockchain. This chain can be used to perform transactions without PoW, after which the group of transactions can be upended to the blockchain at once. This would consume much less energy.
Ethereum has partnered with StarkWare to develop an off-chain layer like this. This would cut down on the amount of energy it takes to process the transactions for one NFT.
Use profits for environmental conservation
Other NFT marketplaces and artists have opted to donate a portion of their profits to environmental conservation efforts. In this way, they hope to reverse the damaging effects of NFT art.
Moving Images is one such NFT project, built specifically to tackle the climate crisis by creating collectible, limited-release NFTs whose profits go to environmental charities.
What is Moving Images?
Moving Images is an NFT project that creates collections based on photos that the team members take from around the world, with themes of nature and travel.
The first collection from Moving Images is the first and only NFT collection created to celebrate the opening of London’s most recent tube line. Named the Elizabeth Line in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, this line marks an important moment in history.
“These are the first Elizabeth line NFTs in existence, and they celebrate an important milestone for Queen Elizabeth II,” says Moving Images founder Christian Walker. “Buying one of these NFTs gives you an opportunity to own a piece of history.”
The Moving Images NFTs are available for sale on OpenSea. With each NFT sale, Moving Images donates the profits to environmental charities that are doing important work to restore our world. The team chooses new environmental causes to support each quarter. The Moving Images team is also working on a new digital currency at leafbird – one that transfers transaction fees to environmental charities. With this project model, Moving Images is creating art for a better world and supporting vital environmental work.
About Moving Images NFTs
Moving Images NFTs is a blockchain NFT initiative that supports environmental work. The profits generated from each NFT sale are directed to supporting environmental charities. This project was built to tackle the climate crisis by creating unique, collectible, limited release NFTs to raise funds for vital environmental work.
Click here to invest in Moving Images, own a piece of history and contribute to environmental conservation. You can also get updates on the current collection as well as upcoming collections on Instagram.