NFTs Simplified and Do they Cause Global Warming


Artistic Fad with Digital Art

The newest crazy right now is this thing called NFTs. Most of the world has not heard of NFTs but if you have, you are probably wondering what the heck they are. NFTs are like collector’s items, only digital.

What exactly is an NFT?

NFT stands for A non-fungible token. Well, that clears things up, right? Ugh, wrong. What the heck does that even mean.

Well first let’s talk about what fungible means. Picture going shopping online right now. Say you want a pair of shoes. You search the internet and decide to get a pair of white sneakers. You pick the style and size you want and add it to your cart and then purchase it, right? So, you know that when you buy those stickers you are not getting those exact shoes that were pictured in the picture. There were thousands of those same pairs of shoes made and you will get one of those. That is fungible.

Now say you saw a painting you wanted at an art show. There is only one original painting. You want to buy that one, not a duplicate or copy. That is non fungible.

So an NFT is buying a piece of digital artwork, music or whatever, otherwise known as a token, it is you want to buy in digital form, in it’s original form. NFTs are digital files ,JPEGs, videos, GIFs, tied to transactional bits of code on the blockchain that can be bought and sold with cryptocurrency.

Now how do you know you are not buying just a copy? Why can’t I just screenshot it?

Well there is a record, called a Blockchain of all digital purchases and the product itself. Again, confusing. So picture a bank. A bank keeps track of every transaction made by everyone. It knows if you have money to buy something, it knows if you have bought something. That is a blockchain. An internet way of keeping track of sales of digital tokens.

To NFT or Not to NFT

Here’s the confusing part to me, so an NFT is something that can’t be copied and you own the work, but the artist still retains the copyright and reproduction rights to their token. So if you are trying to invest in NFTs as investments, wouldn’t it screw you if an artist decides later to sell thousands of copies of their item? Wouldn’t that devalue it? Someone help me understand please!?

Ways to make money on NFTs.

Many artists, photographers and musicians are selling their art and music in the form on NFTs on sites such as:
OpenSeas, Nifty Gateway, Rarible and a number of other sites. You “drop” your token on these sites and auction them off or set a fixed buying price.

Another way to make money is to just talk or blog about NFTs. Right now it’s the craze and people want to learn about them. Most people don’t even know what an NFT is or even heard of one yet, so it’s a low competition. So many are making money by doing blog posts explaining what NFTs are, like I’m doing right now, or about making YouTube videos about them to get views.

Do NFTs really Cause Global Warming

Sadly, as of right now, in 2021 the answer is yes. All this digital stuff is stored on tons of computers that are burning a lot of energy every day. NFTs take up a lot of energy.

Individual pieces of crypto art, NFTs, are responsible for a lot of the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the cryptocurrencies used to buy and sell them. Artists and owners of NFTs debate whether this issues can be fixed or not.

In the meanwhile, ArtStation, an online marketplace for digital artists, canceled its plans to launch a platform for NFTs because of the backlash from artists saying that they are too environmentally unethical and contribute too much to the global warming issues. According to The Verge, Akten, a digital artist, had analyzed 18,000 NFTs and found that the average NFT has a carbon footprint equivalent to more than a month’s worth of electricity for a person living in the EU.

Most NFTs are bought with a Crypto-currency called Ethereum. And Ethereum has promised that it will eventually switch to proof of stake, a more energy efficient way of keeping a ledge of NFTs. So let’s cross our fingers solutions to this energy problem will come along soon.

Another hope if for computers to start converting to clean energy so green house gasses omitted go down.

Some NFT Facts to Blow your Mind

  • Digital Artist Michael Joseph Winkelmann, known as Beeple sold one JPEG photo for $69.3M. The NFT was a collage called, Everydays: The First 5000 Days. The collage was all of the images he made every day for over 13 years.
  • Speaking of Beeple, in February 2021, Beeple’s “Crossroad” sold for $6.6 million, making it the most expensive video art sold as an NFT. His video was a 10-second animation depicting a giant Donald Trump lying on the ground covered in logos and slogans with people walking past.
  • In March 2021, SlimeSunday and 3LAU auctioned a song on Nifty Gateway. The auction winner paid $1.33 million to name and own their NFT and named the song “Gunky’s Uprising.”
  • Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT for just over $2.9 million dollars.
  • The EverLasting Beautiful by FEWOCiOUS, an 18 year old artist, sold for $550,000, including the original canvas on which the animation was based.
  • As a celebration of the 10th birthday of Nyan Cat, an animated gif of a cat with a Pop Tart body flying through space, trailed by a streaming rainbow, was made by creator Chris Torres and sold as an NFT. It was auctioned it off for 300 ether, or which just about equals $561,000.
  • 87 year old comic book artist José Delbo teamed up with painter and cryptoartist Trevor Jones for an oil painting version of one of the Delbo’s inked drawings of Batman and it sold for $552,603.98.
  • The original creators of NFTs can opt-in to automatically collect royalty from every future transaction of their NFT.
  • A report said the creation of an average NFT has an environmental footprint of over 200 kilograms of planet-warming carbon, equivalent to driving 500 miles in a typical American gasoline-powered car.
  • SuperRare and the University of Cambridge both deny that NFTs really are causing any damage towards the environment.
  • NFTs have hit the gaming world. You can buy crypto-kitties to virtually raise or plots of virtual real estate you can develop.
  • Since the first week in September 2020, at least $1 million has been spent on NFTs in any seven-day period. The total value of all NFT transactions in 2020 hit just over $250 million.
  • The first quarter of 2021 saw a total of $2 billion in total sales, according to’s quarterly report. 

Sources for this article:
NFTs: why digital art has such a massive carbon footprint
The Climate Change Argument Swirling around NFTs
Forbes Advisor

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