It’s no secret that NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) are in the spotlight right now. With digital art, collectibles, and gaming assets trading for thousands if not millions of dollars, their impact is front and center. While the majority of media coverage has been on the volume or prices that these assets are trading for, a new more troubling narrative has started to emerge.
Many news feeds have seen an upward trend in stories about the “green” impact of NFTs. These stories take a pointedly myopic view at a complex and multifaceted issue in this growing blockchain space.
The majority of these headline grabbing NFT transactions are happening on the ETH (Ethereum) blockchain. Thus, all NFTs have become the “bad guy” in an argument that is more specifically about the mechanics of the platform they are created on, not the value of the assets themselves. Unfortunately, the real losers in this biased narrative are the artists and creators who have embraced NTFs as a medium or are considering it. Targeting the collective socially conscious practicalities of the general public, it is easy to be sold on the fact that there are no alternatives. Either we stop using NFTs or we kill the planet.
But there are alternatives!
Many NFT friendly but sometimes lesser known blockchains use the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) model for mining and producing blocks. Unlike PoW where thousands of nodes compete to mine a single block (thus consuming vast amounts of power), DPoS relies on elected producers to validate the blockchain. This results in exponential energy savings. A recent study indicates DPoS blockchains are more energy efficient than Bitcoin by 66,000 times and Ethereum by 17,000 times.
Clearly, protecting the planet for future generations is a valiant and necessary cause. Likewise, introducing art that is immutable and verifiably authentic is edifying to the human race as well.
The partnership between WAX and TOPPS has brought an immense amount of unique and valuable intellectual property to the masses at a drastically reduced global footprint. Projects like Uplift Art on both the WAX and EOS blockchain introduce a philanthropic side to digital assets which are typically presented as only being accessible to the wealthy. NFT Showroom on the Hive blockchain is first hand proof that artists of any level can produce rich and meaningful assets. All at a lower energy cost thanks to DPoS!
Based on the current popularity, it is safe to say that NFTs are here to stay. Creators or collectors who are concerned about the environmental impact of NFTs should take a look at the growing list of other options. In addition to being environmentally friendly, transaction fees on WAX are virtually nonexistent and the transaction speed makes using websites built on WAX on par with any other web application. Four of the top ten blockchain-based games in the world make their home on WAX, and the number of users on the WAX Atomic Hub exceeds all of Ethereum’s marketplaces combined. Letting a flawed narrative stifle an emerging form of expression could ultimately be the larger disaster the planet faces.