I was all ready to drop some NFTs on Open Sea or SuperRare, fire up my Nano S, and watch my Ethereum skyrocket. But when I read that the electricity needed to mine cryptocurrency uses more energy than the entire country of Argentina1 I preemptively pressed delete.
If you don’t know what I am talking about don’t worry I can explain. Christie’s, the famous fine art auction house, recently sold their first NFT and accepted Cryptocurrency as payment. The art world went wild. Most NFTs sold are short animations by artists. Some make a painting, a real physical painting, photograph it and then animate it, which is what I’ve been doing. I had been musing over how to sell, show or share these animations when presto-chango NFTs stormed the market place. WooHoo! I was ready.
Anything can be an NFT. Any digital file that is. NFT stands for non-fungible token.2 Understanding the technology is not important. Just imagine this. An artist, let’s say me, makes a piece of digital art and wants to sell it. I post it on Vimeo or youtube, but no-one wants to buy it because that’s ridiculous. Why would any one buy something they can just go online and watch? So in strolls blockchain technology which adds a lot of super heavy code, kinda like software puzzles and adds it to the digital file. This makes the file unique and by creating a veneer of scarcity, valuable.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Posted here are some of the files I intended to mint (minting is the process of creating a new block on the blockchain). I call them New Fungible Twisters because they’re new and they twist. Not sure about the Fungible aspect but I want to sound hip.
Seriously though, I feel sad about the senseless increase in the world wide carbon footprint that is embedded in the technology behind NFTs and cryptocurrency. Please help get the word out by sharing this blog post and or the articles listed here. Thank you.
Sources are listed at the bottom of the post. Thanks for reading.
- Aratani, Lauren. "Electricity needed to mine bitcoin is more than used by 'entire countries'," The Guardian, Feb 27, 2021 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/27/bitcoin-mining-electricity-use-environmental-impact
- Dash, Anil. “NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This,” The Atlantic, April 2 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/04/nfts-werent-supposed-end-like/618488/
- Pipkin, Everest. “Here is the Article You can Send to People When They Say “But the Environmental Issues with Cryptoart Will be Solved Soon, Right?”,” Medium, March 3 2021, https://everestpipkin.medium.com/but-the-environmental-issues-with-cryptoart-1128ef72e6a3