THIS BLOG INCLUDE:
- 1 Introduction
- 2 How much energy does it take
- 3 Taking notice of NFT’s energy use
- 4 Can NFTs use less energy
- 5 Where to buy energy-efficient NFTs
- 6 Conclusion
NFT Energy Use: Current record-breaking, mind-blowing sales figures (such as the $69.3 million sale of an NFT of artwork by the artist known as Beeple in 2021) show the digital phenomena which is known as NFTs won’t be going away anytime. Despite all the commotion and fanfare, NFTs are also the part of escalating environmental concerns and forms of criticism.
The fact that NFTs consume a disproportionate amount of energy during production is one of their main criticisms. Memo Akten, a computational artist and engineer, estimated that it takes about 142 kWh of energy to mint (create) an Ethereum-based (Proof-of-Work) NFT.
The averages Memo Akten discovered after compiling data from 8,000 transactions on the NFT platform SuperRare are as follows:
Coining (Creation): 142 kWh, 83 kg CO2
bids: 24 kg CO2, 41 kWh.
12 kWh, 7 Kg CO2 Cancel Bid
Sales: 51 kg CO2, 87 kWh
Transfer of ownership: 52 kWh, 30 KgCO2
Memo Akten claims that the average NFT has a combined energy consumption of 340 kWh (energy) and 211 KgCO2 (excluding the energy required to design and manufacture the original piece of art) (emissions).
The throngs of investors and collectors who view these digital assets as platforms for making rapid and potentially significant profits are to blame for the NFTs’ rising appeal.
Creators and artists also use the NFT wave to gain recognition and compensation. These factors combine to produce a perfect storm of excessive energy consumption.
How much energy does it take
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are valuable because of their rarity and uniqueness. Each newly formed (or “minted”) NFT has only one owner, and this ownership status is easily verifiable. This article covers how to confirm an NFT’s ownership and creator.
Therefore, even if anyone, anywhere in the world, can create an unlimited number of copies of a particular digital work, there can only be one authentic original with one identifiable owner.
But because they both rely on the blockchain technique of activity recording, creating NFTs is analogous to validating cryptocurrency transactions. This highly complicated peer-sourced verification method, also known as proof of work (more on this later), is a very energy-intensive procedure. Here are some statistics from one study that illustrate this idea:
- Each transaction on the Ethereum platform (the foundation for most NFTs) is predicted to need 48.14 kilowatt-hours of energy.
- Typical home uses as much energy per day and a half it does in one Ethereum transaction.
Another investigation of the enormous energy used in the production of NFTs shows that a variety of associated tasks consume precisely as much energy as the production of these digital assets, if not more. For illustration:
- A typical Ethereum platform transaction, such as creating an NFT, uses as much energy as running a refrigerator for a month.
- But in addition to the NFT’s creation, other associated processes include auctioning, selling, and transferring ownership of these digital tokens.
- A group of transactions from a single NFT can collectively use up to 340 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy.
- Some NFT transactions require considerably more energy, such as the sale of two digital tokens by one artist, which required an estimated 175 megawatt-hours (MWh) of power, or the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by one U.S. home over 21 years.
Taking notice of NFT’s energy use
In addition to having a safe way to prove ownership of their unique works, artists and creators are gaining from the popularity of NFTs by utilizing a digital platform that can provide incredibly lucrative outcomes. For a better expression, this digital phenomenon enables starving artists to ride the NFT train to unfathomable riches, or at least that is their hope. A small number of artists can support themselves financially, even with NFTs.
However, some artists are taking it upon themselves to raise awareness of the adverse environmental effects that NFTs have due to their excessive and incredibly inefficient energy use.
A French artist by the name of Joanie Lemercier tracked the environmental effects of his first-ever NFT drop and found the following frightening information about his tokenized works:
- Lemercier placed six NFTs for sale on the online auction site Nifty Gateway, and they rapidly sold thousands of dollars within a of seconds.
- Energy used in these trades was 8.7 megawatts.
- Lemercier, a self-described climate warrior, had resolved to reduce his energy usage significantly, but a single NFT transaction undid years of work.
- Lemercier’s art studio would have met all of its energy requirements for two years with the energy utilized to power the sale of his NFTs.
- Another year’s worth of energy was used in the second transfer of ownership of the same NFTs, and other transfers will almost certainly happen in the future. Lemercier has chosen to exhibit and sell his works at live, in-person events because he is a well-known climate campaigner. As long as digital parts are anxious, he and other artists are seeing towords to technological breakthroughs (see below) that will allow NFTs to be minted and sold with substantially decreased energy requirements.
Can NFTs use less energy
It is typically energy-intensive to mint or transfer an NFT, but it is unnecessary. NFTs can be produced on blockchain platforms utilizing the proof-of-stake operating model without consuming excessive electricity or harming the environment.
NFTs can lessen their environmental effect in other inventive ways. Here are a few possibilities:
Use renewable energy
Proof-of-work miners can generate NFTs by using renewable energy. Even though proof-of-work mining requires a lot of energy, the energy source can be emission-free. Although solar power is a well-liked option, other winds and hydroelectric power options exist.
Invest in renewable energy
Since certain NFTs sell for eye-catching prices, it is conceivable to use some of the earnings to invest in renewable energy. The environmental impact of manufacturing NFTs might be reduced or eliminated with a widespread switch to renewable energy.
Invest in experimental technologies
NFT sales revenue can also be used to fund research into emerging technologies that aim to slow or stop the consequences of climate change. Some people think that an experimental technology called carbon capture and storage, which gathers and injects carbon dioxide emissions into the Earth, can solve the problem of climate change.
Purchase carbon offset credits
Investors in NFTs who want to reduce the environmental impact of their investment can do so by purchasing carbon offset credits. Although buying carbon credits doesn’t cut carbon dioxide emissions, it gives other people a financial incentive to reduce their annual total emissions.
Where to buy energy-efficient NFTs
A wide variety of NFT marketplaces, such as Magic Eden, Solanart, and Rabbit Hole, are supported by the Solana blockchain.
In addition to several NFT marketplaces, the Algorand blockchain enables Aorist, a blockchain for artists that focuses on the environment. Due to its intention to never fork—or split—into duplicate versions, the Algorand blockchain is ideally suited to handle NFTs.
- Cardano is a blockchain that is renowned for being green.
- CNFT and Galaxy of Art are two NFT marketplaces powered by Cardano.
The Tezos blockchain is home to several NFT marketplaces, including Rarible, which encourages NFT creation by artists and runs an NFT marketplace.
NFT energy usage is a hot topic for debate among professionals and detractors. The benefits of NFTs to the planet can be enormous, but at what cost? There is only one Earth; without it, neither blockchain technology nor NFTs is necessary. Finding the ideal balance is crucial because the condition of our planet is an immense worry.
How much environmental impact do NFTs have?
The average carbon footprint of a single NFT has been determined to be 211 kg of CO2, equal to 1,000 miles of gas-powered travel.
Are NFTs friendly to the environment?
Compared to Ethereum, this blockchain is more environmentally friendly and provides carbon-neutral minting and zero gas expenses. The energy-efficient EOSIO Delegated Proof of Stake consensus technique discourages server farms from mining continuously. NFTs developed on this platform are, therefore, significantly more sustainable.
NFTs’ impact on the economy
The creation and trading of digital assets are quickly becoming more democratic thanks to NFTs and associated marketplaces. Independent developers, artists, business owners, and organizations can now easily access the enormous and expanding worldwide marketplaces for various digital assets thanks to non-fungible tokens, which promote equitable economic growth.
What fuel type do most NFTs use?
The ERC-721 uniform standard creates the majority of NFTs. There are additional standards, though, that you might want to research. Semi-fungible tokens are permitted by the ERC-1155 standard, which is particularly advantageous in the gaming industry.