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In the past month or so you probably heard about a lot about NFTs, but it’s hard to see what an NFT is really. Are they a new way, according to some, of supporting artists and creating a cryptocurrency bank? Or, as others say, an important carbon emission factor? I will try to explain and bear with me. Bear with me.

First and foremost, what does NFT stand for? The term “non-fungible token” refers to a token that is not fungible. Fungible is a rare term, but it basically means replaceable in the context of NFTs. Trading cards, like real money, are fungible: one quarter is the same as the next, and there are thousands of identical Pokémon cards in circulation. Non-fungible transistors, on the other hand, are one-of-a-kind.
So, what is an NFT, exactly? Well, pretty much anything. Any current media, from a tweet to a highlight from an NBA game, can be used as an NFT. The owner of these works of art sells them on a blockchain powered by the cryptocurrency Ethereum. While blockchains are the topic of a separate article, Ethereum is critical in understanding why NFTs are so poor.

NFTs Issue
Image Source: Daily Emerald, University of Oregon

Why would anyone pay for a tweet when they can simply screenshot the tweet themselves? There are many explanations for this, but they all boil down to the same thing: there might be hundreds of replicas, but only one person owns the original.

The rights to the NFT are usually retained by the artist, particularly when it’s something like an album or other artwork, but the buyer is still granted them. That means you can use someone else’s image in published material or as a profile picture if you purchase it. Another advantage for buyers is that certain NFTs offer the original buyer a portion of any sale or change of hands.

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To give you an idea of the size of these deals, artist Beeple recently sold an NFT made up entirely of digital art for $69 million at an online auction.

Some people claim that, like physical art, their NFTs will appreciate in value, but this remains to be seen.

NFTs Issue
Image Source: MarketWatch

The rights to the NFT are usually retained by the artist, particularly when it’s something like an album or other artwork, but the buyer is still granted them. That means you can use someone else’s image in published material or as a profile picture if you purchase it. Another advantage for buyers is that certain NFTs offer the original buyer a portion of any sale or change of hands.

To give you an idea of the size of these deals, artist Beeple recently sold an NFT made up entirely of digital art for $69 million at an online auction.

Some people claim that, like physical art, their NFTs will appreciate in value, but this remains to be seen.It is a bit technical to explain the scandalous energy consumption. Ethereum is based on a system called the “proof of work,” as is the case of other cryptocurrencies. According to Wired’s explanation, working systems evidence requires that computers are used by participants in order to solve difficult but, ultimately. The reply to one of these puzzles shows that it was decided by the owner and “earned” its Ethereum token, or Bitcoin. The upshot is that crypto miners worldwide run 24/7 computers to solve arbitrary puzzles in order to make online money.To date, Ethereum mining has used the same amount of energy as Bulgaria and has a carbon footprint equal to Estonia.

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Some people in the NFT industry have tried to reduce their environmental impact in a variety of ways, such as by using renewable energy and planting trees to offset their carbon footprint. These efforts to reduce the environmental effects of NFTs are a good start, but there are still still too few Ethereum miners on board.
There’s nothing wrong with selling a cat GIF for thousands of dollars, but as long as NFTs derive their value from Ethereum, machine farms all over the world can continue to churn away, attempting to show that their owners “won” their tokens. Finally, the issue has nothing to do with NFTs and all to do with the environmental crisis that cryptocurrencies exacerbate; NFTs simply draw more attention to an industry that is already wreaking havoc.
What are the negative effects of NTFs on the environment? Ethereum, the cryptocurrency in which they are founded, must be mined like every other cryptocurrency, which involves an excessive amount of electricity. The average NFT transaction consumes the same amount of energy as a typical American family consumes in 2.6 days and emits the same amount of CO2 as 78,000 visa transactions or over 6,000 hours of YouTube viewing.


Source: Daily Emerald, University of Oregon

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