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Developments in blockchain technology have sparked important conversations on sustainability in the art world and paved a path for artists to make environmentally-conscious NFTs.

Sustainable, Impactful NFTs

JANUARY 1ST 2021

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Increasingly over the last year, the art world has come together to address the importance of sustainability and make comprehensive, system-wide changes to reduce its carbon footprint. Like physical artwork, NFTs require energy to mint and sell. As NFTs made headlines this spring with major sales like Beeple’s Everydays — The First 5,000 Days that sold for $69 million at Christie’s in March, the carbon footprint of blockchain-supported art came under scrutiny, leading to expedited changes in how the systems operate.

NFTs are supported by blockchains that require energy to work. 

Different blockchains provide different tools. The leading blockchain for NFTs is Ethereum, which offers artists many benefits, in particular the ability to build in smart contracts that can be used to establish continued royalties. Simply put, blockchains are supported by a vast system of specialized mining computers, called nodes, that require energy to work. Some blockchains, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, currently operate on a Proof of Work system in which all of the nodes are activated and have an equal chance to compute what is essentially a random math equation. The node that successfully completes, or validates, the blockchain receives a reward for their work. The more nodes required to compute, the more energy needed to support the network. 

Since even before Ethereum was launched in 2015, its developers have been working on system that uses fewer nodes, and therefore less energy.

Called Ethereum 2.0, this system relies on a method called Proof of Stake, which is also used by other blockchains. 

  Unlike Proof of Work where all nodes compute, Proof of Stake allows for only a portion of users to compete to validate the blockchain. Proof of Stake validators stake their own Eth to be allowed the chance to participate. This allows more transactions to occur at once, reducing network congestion, thus lowering gas fees. Ethereum 2.0 is underway to shift completely to the Proof of Stake method, which is projected to reduce energy consumption by 99%.

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Calculating the carbon footprint of any complex activity is very difficult.

 

While publications were quick to pick up on the buzzworthy statistics of the carbon footprint of NFTs and blockchains, in particular Bitcoin, the conversation can’t be a comparison between crypto-art and physical art. Carbon audits of physical art systems are shedding light on some of the more wasteful practices that have been considered acceptable. As digital assets, NFTs do not require the energy needed to create, ship, store, sell, or display that comes with physical works of art. Both digital and physical artworks have their own set of considerations when it comes to their carbon footprint.

 

DMinti’s process results in thoughtful NFT releases that contribute to the artists’ careers and legacies. DMinti is committed to supporting efforts to fight climate change and is working with sustainability experts to contribute to large-scale land conservation through the organization Art to Acres. 

 

DMinti’s team supports artists and carefully curates impactful NFT releases. Artists and collectors can be confident that the energy needed to bring these works to life was expended carefully.  

 

An Introduction to the World of NFTs

NFTs have taken the art world by storm. From multimillion dollar sales to cat memes to special album releases, the impact that NFTs have had on creative industries over the last year is unprecedented. But what exactly are they?

A Concise Guide to NFT Types

Blockchain technology has revolutionized many industries, including art, entertainment, and sports. This list gives a brief overview of a selection of different NFT types and some of the biggest names in each sector.

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About Hani Rashid

Hani Rashid a practicing architect, known for a first-of-its-kind Guggenheim Virtual Museum and the Virtual New York Stock Exchange among other notable projects and buildings including the Yas Marina Hotel and Formula one venue in Abu Dhabi. Hani co-founded New York based Asymptote Architecture with his partner, Lise Anne Couture in 1989. Alongside his professional work, Hani has a distinguished, international academic career having held numerous visiting professorships at a number of important universities including the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design as well as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). In 1998 Hani co-founded and developed Columbia University’s GSAAP Advanced Digital Design program. And in 2000 Hani co-represented the United States at the 7th Venice Architecture Biennale. Hani lives in New York City, and alongside his architectural practice, is the director of Deep_Futures, a research laboratory in the Institute of Architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

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