Prioritizing sustainability and innovation
The open-source Tezos network is a Proof of Stake blockchain that consumes over two million times less energy than Proof of Work networks like Bitcoin or Ethereum. The low carbon footprint of Tezos means developers and users can prioritize innovation without compromising sustainability. The self-amending properties of Tezos allow the network to stay ahead of the constantly evolving trends in the blockchain ecosystem, such as gas optimizations and NFTs. The recent interest in the ecological impact of NFTs has amplified a relevant and substantial advantage Tezos has against other networks: substantially lower energy consumption and a smaller ecological footprint.
NFTs have exploded in popularity over the past few months. Consumers have scrambled for NFT trading cards, artwork, and limited edition albums from well-known artists; however, congestion, cost, and accessibility on other networks have impacted applications and hurt the reputation of the ecosystem as a whole. But not all NFTs are made equal.
Critical reviews of NFTs point to the energy usage of NFTs on Ethereum. Some estimates of Ethereum’s annual energy consumption place it at around 26TWh, a draw of 3 gigawatts, comparable to the annual energy consumption of Ecuador, a country of 17 million people. Despite claims that NFTs do not significantly add to the energy consumption of Ethereum (the energy is being used anyway to operate the network), critics have rightfully centered on the lack of awareness in the Ethereum community about the environmental impact of Ethereum’s Proof of Work consensus system.
With drastically lower energy consumption, Tezos is different. The energy used annually by validators of the Tezos network (also known as “bakers” in the Tezos ecosystem) is in the range of 60MWh, a continuous draw of 7 kilowatts. Compared to Ethereum, these numbers differ by a factor of over two million, between six and seven orders of magnitude. Moreover, the low gas costs on Tezos provide for a seamless, congestion-free user experience that allows anyone to mint, host, and trade NFTs with minimal barriers to entry.
Awareness and Impact
NFTs facilitate a deeper level of engagement that goes beyond a share or a like. Artists and creators that want to give something back to their communities are able to breed new experiences through meaningful engagement. Furthermore, collectors and curators can display works of art across digital audiences through new mediums.
“Works of art will acquire a kind of ubiquity. We shall only have to summon them and there they will be…They will not merely exist in themselves but will exist wherever someone with a certain apparatus happens to be.” Paul Valéry — La conquête de l’Ubiquité (“The Conquest of Ubiquity”), 1928.
NFTs also unlock new possibilities for artists and creators to share commissions, collect resale royalties, host and curate their own creations, and break down barriers created by legacy institutions. The peer-to-peer relationship between creator and patron through NFTs can help foster new landscapes for engagement and connection for creators, fans, and audiences.
In his 2008 essay “1000 True Fans,” Kevin Kelly predicted,
“To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.”
But none of this matters if sustainability and innovation do not go hand in hand. Climate change has a very real impact on inequality, and it is up to us all to build a more sustainable world. Embracing clean NFTs and energy-efficient networks can ensure that the impact in communities that stand to benefit the most is not offset by carbon consumption.
The Tezos community is busy building an ecosystem around clean NFTs to support artists and creators as they engage with fans and collectors in new ways. Here are some of the cool and exciting things happening in the Tezos #CleanNFT ecosystem:
- OpenSea, a leading NFT marketplace, recently announced that it will support Tezos NFTs on its platform.
- hic et nunc, a Tezos-native NFT marketplace, has gained significant traction amongst artists that prefer to use an eco-friendly blockchain, such as Brazilian multidimensional artist Edu, AI-art pioneer Mike Tyka, digital artist Pak, and others. Recently hic et nunc exceeded 100k interactions with its smart contract, indicative of the explosive growth that is organically happening on the platform.
- Diverse NFT Artists, a community for Women, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ NFT artists curated by Tais Koshino and Amelie Maia.
- InterPop, a gaming and collectibles superteam redefining the future of NFTs (more accurately, clean NFTs) and fandom led by Brian David-Marshall and a new team of veteran talent from the comics, gaming, and collectibles spaces.
- Emergents, a combination of modern innovation and the nostalgia of collectibles and comic books, Emergents is a trading card game and comic series coming from the InterPop team later this year.
Low carbon impact and low gas fees are helping Tezos quickly become recognized as the best, most environmentally responsible place to mint, host, and trade clean NFTs. As a platform designed to evolve through its on-chain governance mechanism, Tezos has been able to continuously innovate and adapt to emerging trends without disruption. The efficiency of Tezos and its ability to overcome some of the issues faced in this space is not by accident, but by design. As the digital renaissance continues to unfold, Tezos will continue to be right at the forefront through adaptability and innovation.