World Wildlife Fund Pitches NFT Collection, Environmentalists Push Back



The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the UK created a non-fungible token (NFT) collection dubbed ‘Tokens for Nature.’ The collection was meant to be eco-friendly but failed to deliver on its purpose.

The goal of the ‘Tokens for Nature’ was to raise funds to save ten endangered animal species. The WWF UK minted the NFTs on Polygon, a layer 2 scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain, the Verge reported

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“My initial response [to World Wildlife Fund’s NFTs] was they must be joking … They’re supposed to be all for sustainable innovations, and they’re getting involved with one of the least sustainable things on the planet,” cryptocurrency economist Alex de Vries told the Verge.

The collection features 13 endangered species including Saola, Cross River Gorilla, Amur Leopard, etc. Moreover, the box-shaped design of the NFTs could not get the attention the WWF was seeking and the reason is pretty obvious.

Polygon claims to be the “eco-friendly blockchain scaling Ethereum” using the proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism instead of Ethereum’s proof-of-work (PoW). The WWF calculated the carbon footprint of transactions on Polygon 2,100 times lower than the actual amount, according to the report.

According to De Vries’ calculations, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) transactions have a bigger carbon footprint than Italy and Ethereum’s footprint alone is similar to Singapore.

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De Vries also wrote that the WWF estimated “each transaction on Polygon produces just 0.206587559 grams CO2,” which is far from his calculations that show each transaction with 430 grams of CO2. He added that it is still “a long way from the 124.34 kilograms of CO2 per transaction on the Ethereum network.”

The CEO of Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute, Ulrich Gallersdörfer, wrote in an email to the Verge, “While Layer 2 solutions can be seen as independent networks, they still rely on the security of the underlying Layer 1 network and therefore its electricity consumption and carbon footprint.”

The WWF decided to bring the ‘Tokens for Nature collection down on Friday, and added that they still “have a lot to learn about this new market.” The WWF Germany NFT collection which is called the “Non-Fungible Animals (NFA) will continue to raise money for the greater good. Furthermore, the NFA collection has already raised more than €250,000 since its launch in November last year.

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