However, for the foreseeable future, NFTs will have a huge carbon footprint. An NFT can be unique, like a real-life painting, or a copy of many, like stickers, but the blockchain keeps track of who owns the file. So they figured that if NFTs become a big industry, then owning the first one from The New York Times, they might be able to resell it for more money later. The only anaemic value to be gained by buying an NFT is the ability to say truthfully that I own this NFT, a phrase with so little meaning as to be laughable.
But growing demand means that creators and buyers are increasingly responsible for their share of Ethereum's total energy use, as the minting of new NFTs leads to increased emissions if the demand for new NFTs on the blockchain increases the energy burn. To be clear, the NFT itself is NOT the art that is being bought and sold, it is simply an authentication certificate. So immediately, my colleagues start joking about the fact that no one is going to bid on my silly NFT. Nifty Gateway, which is one of the most popular NFT marketplaces, recently committed to becoming carbon negative by buying carbon offsets and upgrading its technology.
A good way to address the environmental impact of NFTs is to get "a commitment from collectors, developers, artists and investors to explore and move to more sustainable alternatives to the Ethereum blockchain". In any case, NFTs have become the latest internet fad, much to the dismay of those who already know how they work and those who care about the environment. Köhler pointed out that the impact of NFTs can be further reduced by building systems at "layer 2" rather than directly on the blockchain. The growing awareness of the environmental impact of CLS comes as evidence accumulates about the detrimental toll of cryptotechnology.
Therefore, NFTs do not add emissions, they argued, just as a train would continue to run regardless of how many passengers were on board. Crypto-art involves taking any piece of digital media, such as text, images or even music, and linking it to an NFT. But there are other ways to make NFTs more environmentally friendly, as well as offsetting emissions. Research on the energy demand of NFTs is less well established, and has proved controversial among those involved in the cryptocurrency industry.