Unless you’re living under a rock, I’m sure that you’ve encountered non-fungible tokens in one way or another. But if you really haven’t, let me explain it to you. These tokens, also called NFTs, can take various forms. It can be in the form of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet or digital fashion skins for your favorite gaming characters.
Based on Blockchain, NFTs use the same technology that powers the Ethereum cryptocurrency. However, you would be dumb to think that it is a relatively new platform. Hello? It’s been around since 2017 when Dapper Labs launched Crypto Kitties. But the world is catching up to the craze thanks to the ascension of esports and the gaming industry.
Players can earn massive amounts of money by competing in tournaments that happen throughout the year. Of course, those who aspire to be professionals are dipping their toes into the player economy by streaming games online. It’s not enough to be good in one game. Even I would like to have my characters look dapper.
No wonder a new marketplace for online fashion design opened up. Creators still feel the liberty of improving the world one fashion item at a time. But this time, they are not dressing up models anymore. Instead, they create outfits for players who take care of their in-game avatars as if they are real people. Therefore, they spend whatever crypto they have to make their character the talk of the town.
In return, the artists feel a sense of empowerment and appreciation through the monetization of their work. Likewise, that’s where the problem lies. It would be foolish to say that there are no loopholes in NFT. That’s why I only recommend legitimate platforms like Digitalax for buying or selling materials. If you don’t, then do not come crying because you’ve been scammed.
NFTs can be avenues for fraud.
I am still vulnerable to fraud involving NFTs because I will pay for an item that I want. Likewise, there’s not much regulation within the industry. Thanks to the decentralized nature of NFTsit has turned into a free zone for getting duped. Even if NFTs give me a stamp of authenticity, I can still be foolish enough to fall for swindlers. How does the scam work? By creating an NFT of someone else’s creation.
The rise of the creator economy inspired all the artists I know to showcase their work online. They hope to get noticed by a client who would like to purchase their masterpiece or commission them to do other works. But once that artwork is online, I can create an NFT of it if I’m desperate enough to make money. What’s stopping me from doing it? Nothing, because no laws indicate that the NFT must come from the actual artist. That’s digital robbery right there!
No wonder digital artists discovered their art being sold by someone else. It’s not even a complex process because some Twitter bots can help you create an NFT of any tweet just by tagging it. If the devil possessed me, I could be bad enough to make several NFTs of any artwork and have it for auction on multiple sites. With how well things are doing in the NFT market, I might have a hard time counting my money.
NFTs can be stolen too! Look at what happened with some Nifty Gateway customers who got duped by hackers who even used their credit cards to buy more NFTs. Talk about Oceans 14: Digital Edition right here. Likewise, NFTs can be a tool for money laundering due to their decentralized nature.
Know what’s real and what isn’t
While I might have painted a bleak picture for you; however, you can tell what’s real and what isn’t through performing your due diligence. If you are exploring your options in the creative economy, Digitalax provides you a platform that is secure and scam-free. They have an authenticated digital content supply chain that gives designers the privilege of having their creations authenticated.
But that’s not all. You, as a designer, can even distribute various editions of one item that differ in pattern and texture. You can share your designs on their digital library and earn what your art deserves. Honestly speaking, I don’t think any industries have no share of scammers and malicious users. However, there are respectable, trustworthy, leading platforms in every industry, and I believe Digitalax is one of them when it comes to the NFT market.
Do NFTs contribute to global warming?
There’s a lot of criticism surrounding NFTs, their alleged environmental impact, and their use of blockchain technology where powerful computers expend their computational power to run the network. Critics believe that the computationally expensive operation of blockchain consensus protocols essentially increases carbon emissions which can be detrimental for our Planet. However, most of the data these critics refer to come from a website called cryptoart.wtf, a website that calculates the equivalent carbon footprint and usage for every NFT.
Interestingly, according to cryptoart.wtf, the Space Cat NFT had a carbon footprint as high as two months’ worth of electricity usage by an average European citizen. Meanwhile, the average carbon footprint for the 18,000 NFTs analyzed on the website is equivalent to one month’s worth of electricity consumption by an average European resident. But even those alarming claims have their flaws. The website’s creator, Memo Akten, admitted that there’s a certain bias regarding his methodology. Therefore, I call injustice for pinning the earth’s destruction on NFTs alone.
I get it; the proof of work consensus protocol may guzzle up quite a bit of energy; however, Akten also mentioned that his claims did not undergo reviews by third-party experts. Therefore, the information shared there was unverified and unprovable. Today, the website is no more. His guilt must have consumed him when he took the website down. While NFTs are on the rise, critics are missing out on blaming the real culprits.
Why don’t they look at big corporations that operate massive facilities and use a vast network of computers globally? Don’t tell me that the likes of Amazon or Facebook are less guilty than those involved in proof of work. In fact, the Guardian even came out with an article that only 100 companies combine for 71 percent of global emissions.
Unsurprisingly, oil companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron are the worst culprits. Do you expect them to change anytime soon, given that their product is a highly-needed commodity? Therefore, pin the blame where it’s rightfully due. Make the right entities pay, not some band of artists who would like to make a living.
Digital artists care about the Earth.
Artists are the most socially aware individuals on earth, and digital creators are no exception. That’s why NFT creators make conscious efforts to reverse the carbon footprint of their creations. Recently, Beeple and a bunch of other NFT artists will display artworks with reduced footprints. The best part is that the proceeds of the sale will go to Yale University’s Open Earth Foundation. The project aims to accurately account for the carbon footprint in the earth’s atmosphere.
Even Open Earth’s founder, Martin Wainstein, couldn’t understand the pushback against NFTs when they are cousins to Bitcoin. Nobody pointed out the environmental concerns that Bitcoin entailed when its price was surging. Everyone who had money to spare invested in the crypto so that they won’t miss out. However, when art is at the forefront, criticisms sprung like mushrooms.
Each artwork in this online exhibit has a unique and special token representing carbon credits from a deforestation registry in Peru. This is not to say that the NFT community is guilt-free; however, they are taking necessary measures to correct the negative impact they have on the environment.
A time will come when non-fungible tokens will be more energy-efficient. We humans will always find ways to make things better, and this is no exception. So, if you have apprehensions about delving into NFTs because it may ultimately destroy the planet, be assured that the creative economy knows how to balance profit and the planet. Take the plunge now because you’ll be missing a lot when you dive in later.