Meaning of NFT and Its Effect on the Environment

기사승인 2022.05.08  19:55:55


NFT, an acronym for Non-Fungible Token is data stored on the blockchain in digital forms of a photo, video, and audio. Purchasing NFT implies digital ownership of the original copy from the seller. Digital work before NFT’s presence had been easily duplicated without any authorization or right. However, NFT enabled only customers to obtain original works and possess uniqueness. This system is well-recognized for its legitimate asset value as a new form of artwork today.

As numerous artists gain advantages from NFT’s easy accessibility and unlimited expanse of the platform, NFT is rapidly generating an open marketplace where people buy and sell individuals’ art online. Yet, there are some shortcomings of digital art, and the principal is a harmful effect on the environment.

Creating NFT requires the use of blockchain, a cryptocurrency financial service, which causes side effects of carbon dioxide emissions. According to Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index from Digiconomist, the carbon footprint of Bitcoin, the biggest crypto platform, emits nearly 37 megatons of carbon dioxide every year, which equates to that of New Zealand.



One of the major ways to manage the blockchain network is “proof of work (PoW)” which utilizes computational arithmetic operation. However, PoW involves a huge amount of power for miners to earn virtual currency, and it results in high carbon dioxide usage. “Proof of stake (PoS)” is a new, alternative technique with a low rate of energy consumption, but also is problematic with theft of funds and nothing-at-stake issues.

Since the potential of NFT as a novel art platform is undoubtedly perceptible, the ultimate method to solve environmental problems should be discovered soon, to reduce carbon dioxide release and save unnecessary use of energy.



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