The Future of NFTs: Minting NEW Tokens for a SUSTAINABLE Planet by Istiaque Doza
It’s not hard to see that our environment is in trouble. We live in a world where we have constructed a global economy geared towards consuming more and more, driving economic development. Most of it comes from unsustainable sources leading to global warming and thereby not ensuring long-term financial sustainability.
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) may help us save our planet for human life or life in general!
This article will look at NFTs and how they can help fight issues plaguing our natural world in the coming.
What is a Non-Fungible Token or an NFT?
If you search on the internet, you will come across various definitions for non-fungible tokens – also known as NFTs.
The most common definition would be a variation of:
“An NFT is a digital asset known as a decentralized ledger (DTL) is created by nodes in the system. It’s like other cryptocurrencies but with some important distinctions. The NFTs are like other cryptocurrencies in that they’re based on blockchain technology and run on its protocols.”
For this article, we will define an NFTs as any idea enhanced with Programmable Purpose – a term coined by our very own, Dylan Nunn, programmable through custom smart contract code weaved into the backend of the NFT file.
People may use the Programmable Purpose feature to link intelligent contracts to NFTs.
It redefines how to use communities in climate action by using nfts to enhance storytelling and propagate shared beliefs.
An NFT operating as a smart contract will allow us to program general altruism into a digital contract that is immutable.
One completed task follows another as per the dictates of the algorithm.
Digital art or digital file as an NFT is quite interesting because the jpeg or digital rendering can be anything the creator decides. The jpeg or MPEG could represent a picture or video of a tree, a picture of an endangered species, anything in our natural world – even a picture of someone who decided to make sustainability important and incorporated sustainable business practices into his business or operation.
An NFT can be anything that a person, a public or private company, or even a local or global community may decide to mint that is of economic value the boat the creator of the NFT and those who will, later, purchase or trade the NFT token.
How to create an NFT?
There are several ways to mint an NFT to drive sustainable development and long-term economic sustainability.
The creators of non-fungible tokens can attach Programmable Purpose to the NFT to help people, communities, and entities attain sustainability goals.
These NFTs will protect biodiversity – help restore deforested land, manage natural resources like fisheries or water supply sustainably. They will also create green jobs that provide valuable work opportunities with rewards going back into society for participants who consciously mitigate their environmental impact, thereby ensuring future generations’ well-being and survival.
In this context, we refer to a global social sustainability project. These tokens are produced as part of the Paris Agreement, for example, as one or more program components.
If a token has a Programmable Purpose, it should be possible to assign value to work completed by an individual or entity that may represent part of a globally agreed-upon smart social contract geared towards driving environmental sustainability.
For example, the global community can come together and issue a series of NFTs designed to reward participating individuals, communities, and entities for reducing the amount of greenhouse gas they produce by a certain percentage every year.
The steps participants take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions they produce each year should be entirely left up to them.
As per the Smart Contract, the participants should get an NFT or more as a reward for their successful contributions towards the Global Sustainable Development Goals that address and make minor to significant changes to existing human systems to reduce the human impact on the environment by reducing pollution and ensures economic growth.
Programmable purpose as an NFT would also allow participants at the individual, community, and organizational levels to become part of something bigger than themselves as they fulfilled their role in a global contract geared towards protecting our natural environment.
At this point, we need to take a moment to point out that sustainability is not just about climate change mitigation.
Sustainability also includes other global issues such as access to clean water, making our cities innovative and resilient through energy-efficient public transportation and energy made accessible to all, etc.
For instance, in Bangladesh, a developing country – especially in rural areas where people still employ biomass for cooking and heating, sustainability will also mean getting access to clean energy, water, and sustainably farmed raw materials.
An enterprising ecopreneur living in such an area can fund a project to address the needs of the local communities by issuing a non-fungible token to a global community of investors who care for a better environment and sustainable Economic Development.
How much energy does it cost to mint an NFT?
Now that we addressed the issue of how and why someone may create NFTs and how much it would cost them.
According to this article published on Business Insider on the 14th of May 2021, minting and trading in NFTs required participants to pay what is known as a gas fee – which is payment for the processing power necessary for energy usage to ensure the transaction takes place.
The types of gas fees involved are as follows:
Ethereum Gas Fee: This is a fee paid by participants to the miners for processing ERC-20 tokens.
Registry Service Gas Fee: The registry service takes care of all non-fungible tokens and keeps track of them on behalf of its users; therefore, it requires gas fees.
The cost of each transaction is determined by how much work the blockchain network must do to complete the process of minting the NFT token.
It also depends on when and where the participant makes the trade.
Whether someone pays higher or, lower gas fees depends entirely on the current supply and demand for transactions on a blockchain, ergo, traffic congestion.
Creator, curators, or traders may even decide to pay the extra fees if they want their transactions over other transactions taking place simultaneously.
At the time of the writing of this article, the Ethereum blockchain network can process approximately 13 transactions per second. Solana, another popular blockchain, in comparison, can process nearly 10,000 transactions per second.
It is far better to create an NFT and trade it on a blockchain network that processes many transactions from research. As a result, it subjects lower gas fees to its participants while ensuring lower environmental impacts.
Are NFTs bad for the environment?
There has much ongoing debate surrounding the issue of NFTs being either good or bad for the environment.
As mentioned in the previous section, it all depends on the blockchain employed by the creator, curator, and trader of the NFT token.
While, undoubtedly, the Ethereum blockchain has contributed towards the development of Blockchain technology globally. As per the author’s knowledge at the time of writing, the Ethereum Community is well aware of its challenges and is making great strides to shift to eth2.0/proof of stake and encourage the heavy lifting of transactions on faster/cheaper transactions layer two protocols like Matic Polygon. As a result, a blockchain that processes many transactions subjects lower gas fees to its participants while ensuring lower environmental impacts.
Examples of blockchains are far faster, less costly, and thereby, less impactful on our atmosphere than the Ethereum blockchain.
What challenges exist in making NFTs sustainable?
The NFT space is still an infant in comparison to other more established sectors.
It has some ways to go before it develops into a sector optimized to reach peak economic sustainability on a global scale.
One of the significant barriers to entry for people who want in on NFTs is that the space is exceptionally complicated to navigate.
One must jump through just so many hoops, like figuring out how an NFT will work or what gas fee means – something which may surprise newcomers who entered this space.
While many NFTs are getting minted daily, the economic benefits for creators of NFTs remain in question. But this is not always due to the space itself, but rather, liveability constraints creators subject themselves to buy living in large cities with inflated living expenses.
Many experts also agree that we cannot hold NFTs as a silver bullet to solve environmental issues.
The NFT sector has a large and growing global community working together to ensure that the development of this industry Works towards attaining sustainability first.
At the same time, the ecological community is encouraging platforms to move away from generating NFTs via energy generated from fossil fuels and more renewable sources.
How will the NFT community overcome these challenges?
Anyone interested in NFTs should know that, although the NFT Community is new and small, it witnessed exponential growth these past two years during the covid-19 pandemic.
Community members are already creating sustainability initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of NFTs.
One platform recently announced that the platform would not charge creators who use its platform any gas fees.
Specific experts have claimed that although Cardano lags behind Solana in transactional speed, it may quickly become the go-to blockchain platform for NFTs.
As mentioned earlier, GBA Sustainable Environmental Stewardship working group member Dylan Nunn calls NFTs digital Programmable Purpose. And the global NFT community is driving the sector in the direction by educating, promoting, and supporting platforms that pursue sustainability projects through innovation in the NFT space.
That said, NFTs are not just limited to digital assets.
When one gets down to it, NFTs solve the issues related to ownership and the associated with the accessible, efficient, immutable, secure, and transparent record-keeping of all manner of assets.
There are far-reaching uses for NFTs that one day the author of this article will cover in a book – an Amazon bestseller, hopefully.
While NFTs’ accessibility and environmental impact are essential topics of debate, this writer believes that NFTs have been one of the most significant developments in cryptocurrency assets during the last several years.
Can NFTs help mitigate global environmental issues?
So, let’s answer the question of the hour.
If and how can NFTs help mitigate Global environmental issues?
First things first, let us acknowledge a direct link between climate change, health, and inequality.
At the 76th annual United Nations General Assembly meeting, countries were encouraged to implement ambitious policies that align with the Paris Agreement to mitigate the effects of climate change.
That said, more than half the countries globally and under-promise do reduce dependency on fossil fuels, prevent biodiversity loss, and make an increasing shift towards the use of renewable energy.
People working at the root level argue that all such initiatives require funding that does not always reach the right people.
In the author’s opinion, corruption remains one of the most significant barriers to making the shift from pollution-creating Industries to ones that protect our climate.
Proponents of blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens hold that employing them mitigates intermediaries and ensures the funding comes to the right person or community in as short a time as possible due to the nature of the technologies.
That said, many ecopreneurs across the planet who may want to help the local economy shifted to words climate-friendly initiatives may not be able to do so as many countries are issuing bans and staying on the ownership and trade of cryptocurrencies or crypto-assets such as NFTs.
In this regard, the Government Blockchain Association, of which the author is a member, is contributing significantly to the education of government employees globally on the Speedy understanding and Adoption of blockchain Base Solutions that would only serve life in both the public and private sphere.
The UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) declared 2021 as the International Year of the Creative Economy for sustainable development due to the instrumental role of blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens in funding sustainable development projects.
The recognition and acknowledgment of the sector is a massive boost to those involved with the industry and those who support or want to enter the space.
Whether these individuals or entities are getting involved to serve their own needs or to help contribute towards a better life for all, only time will tell.
Charitable, sustainable NFTs for the UN’s 17 SDGs
Creators worldwide are coming together to support non-profit organizations by issuing and selling purpose-driven NFTs designed to ensure that part of the proceeds goes directly to bolstering the non-profit’s ability to serve those in dire need of their services.
There are also platforms where creators can make and sell their digital artwork or asset to support Charities that work towards attaining Sustainable Development Goals locally and globally.
If the reader is interested in NFTs, the author advises them to consult a tax lawyer as tax implications remain applicable in certain jurisdictions.
So, what ultimately is the future for NFT tokens?
Understanding the future of NFTs is critical, as it will impact several sectors, including digital artwork and assets.
Let us briefly address the various sectors which NFTs will touch:
Gamers care a great deal about their digital identities. The Play-to-Earn business model in which gamers can participate in games and earn NFTs.
Without naming names, many once well-reputed organizations have received increasing scrutiny in recent times for both mismanagement and misconduct.
To counterbalance this, blockchain technology enthusiasts and technologists are re-establishing organizations that operate as DAO (decentralized autonomous organizations) that utilize NFTs to bridge the physical world with the digital world.
One of the examples could be a person joining a decentralized social media platform wherein the person’s identity based on all personal data provided is established as an NFT. Only those that deserve to connect, communicate, and collaborate with them will gain access to them at the level that the individuals want.
Individuals on such a platform may even find local and global opportunities to take part in because of how much access they have given the world to Information about themselves.
As a result, once they finish a particular task as per the dictates of a smart contract, the individual may choose to receive a reward in the form of a digital asset such as cryptocurrencies or a collectible NFT Token which day may later decide to trade for something physical such as food, shelter, clothing, or otherwise.
The real estate sector is suitable for disruption. NFTs, regardless of the blockchain platform, make storage of contracts, certifications, ownership, and claim history publicly accessible and automate countless paper works by eliminating several layers of intermediaries, which only lead to the woes of those involved with the sector. The nature of NFTs and blockchain technology will most definitely help mitigate corruption and fraud in the industry.
It’s incredibly challenging to talk about the future of NFTs without discussing the metaverse – a term used to describe a virtual reality world.
Today, both large and small businesses are developing metaverses that bring the internet to life.
The metaverse, or metaverses – depending on how many their end up being, will provide its users with the opportunity to transform their lives.
People will design avatars and interact with both real and virtual people in virtual communities thanks to this technology, a combination of blockchain technology and augmented reality.
Businesses will be able to use the blockchain to build an immutable digital identity for each user, which is what NFTs are ideally suited for achieving.
This becomes more advantageous when users can even tokenize their real-world assets on a metaverse using Blockchain Technology with NFTs making it possible to re-sell or trade their tokens with other users.
Everyday people will have the chance to become part of an immersive world where they can travel freely, own virtual real estate, and live in a place that is more conducive to sustainability than our current one – especially given how much energy it requires just to keep up with the present world’s demands.
In conclusion, although challenges remain, non-fungible tokens are one of the most amazing technological innovations up the past decade.
The future of this technology looks bright.
In about a decade, the author believes that society’s usage of NFT tokens will increase tenfold as individuals, communities, and entities in public and private spheres try to work out what could be turned into an NFT.
The global ecological community is also doing its part to ensure that those participating in the sector remain educated as well as mindful of their environmental footprint and makes sustainability a priority as the industry develops, which in the author’s opinion, is crucial to the survival of future generations of humans, animals, and fauna alike.
About the Author:
Istiaque Doza is the Marketing Director for the Government Blockchain Association and a member of the organization’s Environmental Sustainability Stewardship working group.
A specialist in marketing, he is a newcomer to the blockchain space.
What he lacks in technical education about the sector, he makes up for it in enthusiasm and an undying urge to learn more than he knew yesterday in a bid to contribute towards a better, humane, and equitable future for all – something he learned from one of his idols, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
The author also wants to take this opportunity to thank his colleagues at the Government Blockchain Association’s Sustainable Environmental Stewardship working group – mainly to Dylan Nunn for introducing him to the fantastic concept of Programmable Purpose.
The author thanks the rest of his colleagues for encouraging him and supporting him as he wrote this article, which was an education as a newcomer to the blockchain and NFT scene.
As always, the author thanks you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read this article and hopes the reader found it informative and engaging.
The author requests you to share this article and also follow the author on social media platforms as he explores this exciting new development and more.
The author’s opinions and views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily represent the opinions and viewpoints of any organization he is currently working with.
The writer of this post has included affiliate links to products and services that he supports. He may get a commission if you buy anything through these links.
Lastly, non-fungible tokens are a new and risky investment and should be researched thoroughly before investing. Do not invest more than you can afford to lose.