By Omair Ahmad
You’ve probably heard of NFTs, a form of cryptocurrency that can be bought and sold online – and sell they do. Some of the most expensive NFTs have sold for over $69.2 million. So, what exactly are they?
NFTs are, essentially, cryptocurrency “tokens” that can represent a variety of things, including digital and real-world art, general and miscellaneous content, and even land deeds. We’ll be focusing on the first half of those listed, art and content, which make up almost 92% of all NFTs. These are the big guns of the NFT world, the ones that’ll leave your bank account and your will to live scarce. They are also the most mocked part of NFTs, which have faced scrutiny for being nothing but images that can be screenshot and another thing for millionaires to waste money on. That tweet or piece of art you just saw being sold online for $2.9 million? Easily downloaded and saved to the Cloud with as little effort as pushing a button.
NFTs are also extremely bad for the environment, with the way that they are minted consuming huge amounts of electricity and emitting half a ton of CO2 per NFT, which produces 50 million tons of the greenhouse gas per year. Of course, this affects global warming, and therefore climate change, a huge topic in today’s geopolitical climate. However, what’s almost satirically important about these NFTs is that they are crashing– hard. In fact, NFTs have seen an overall downtrend of 80.2% in the past month of the following: number of sales, active buyers, unique (new) buyers and sellers, amount of NFTs sold, and genuine interest in the market.
So, what does this mean? Well, for now it means that NFT’s are dying – which could be a good thing for the environment. It means reducing CO2 emissions by 50 million tons annually, getting rid of an unregulated online marketplace and economy with millions exchanging hands like sweaty Pokemon cards, and essentially killing a $22 billion dollar industry.