What Are NFT’s, And Why Do So Many People Have a Problem With Them?

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Throughout the year 2021, there has been a high rise in the popularity, production, and purchases of digital tokens called ‘non-fungible tokens’, or NFTs as they are more commonly referred to. However, they have also received another kind of attention, especially from those who are concerned for the environment.

What Are NFT’s?

NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) are pieces of digital media (such as artwork, photos, and music) that are encoded with a blockchain. What this blockchain does is prove that the digital asset being sold is the real ‘original’ asset/copy.  Think of it like this, a person screenshots an image of Paris from google, while it is a copy of a photo from Paris, it is not the ‘original’ image, which is what’s going on here with NFT’s.

What are some of the uses of NFT’s?

NFT’s can be used in various ways. One popular example is NFT collectibles, and it works exactly the way you think does, its basically the same thing as collecting baseball cards, or Funko Pop figures, except you, do not get anything physical in this case. Another popular way in which NFT’s are used is artwork pieces. In this example, because of the blockchain technology, artists can sell their artwork and ownership royalties to consumers who wish to have rights over the art pieces they commission. A less common example is selling albums as NFT’s, similar in vain to selling albums on CDs, vinyl records, and cassettes. As an example, back in March of 2021, a band named Kings of Leon released their album ‘When You See Yourself ‘ as an NFT, which in turn, generated over two million dollars.

What Are Some of The Downsides of NFT’s?

While NFT’s do seemly have many positive things to offer, they do come with severe risks.

One of these risks is how easily people/companies can steal artwork and images from independent creators online. Numerous artists on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr have had their artwork unknowingly stolen from them and sold as NFT’s online, and typically for high prices that the average person cannot simply afford. As a result, many of these artists have had to file numerous copyright complaints against the thieves or the websites on which they are selling the stolen goods.

Another risk, and one of the more well-known ones, are the environmental consequences of running NFT’s. Unlike cars or other carbon-powered machinery, the blockchain that NFT’s run on take up an atrocious amount of electricity, which according to Morningstar.ca, a single NFT  uses as much electricity as the entire country of Libya, this due to the blockchain that NFT’s use, Ethereum, which is actually a cryptocurrency. This means that NFT’s by themselves are not actually harmful to the environment, rather the blockchains they run on, are the reason why they are so harmful to the environment.

Are There Any Eco-Friendly Alternatives?

From what it seems, there are some eco-friendly alternatives to the blockchains that NFT’s run on that is available right now, such as Tezos and the EOS blockchain.

Conclusion

In general, NFT’s are an extremely debatable topic right now, due to the reasons just mentioned, but there does seem to be safe, eco-friendly NFT’s that are currently not well known within the public conscious, but at the end of the day, if you find worth in an NFT, that is fine, and if you do not, that is fine as well.