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Entering NFTs: Understanding the environmental impact of digital collectibles

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Entering NFTs: Understanding the environmental impact of digital collectibles

NFTs have taken pop culture by storm over the past year. On a nearly daily basis, a new celebrity announces their interest in the emerging technology — usually by dropping an NFT collection. From Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction NFTs to Snoop Dogg’s NFT music label, a wide range of notable names are beginning to realize the creative value that NFTs offer. While celebrity involvement has played a key role in raising mainstream awareness about the array of NFT use cases and investment potential, it has also drawn the ire of some fans.

In the midst of the hype surrounding the NFT phenomenon, apprehensions have grown about the technology’s environmental impact. In one notable example, the popular South Korean boy band BTS faced significant pushback a few months ago in response to their plans to debut their own NFT collection. The backlash BTS experienced is one of many similar instances, resulting in some artists becoming wary of exploring the NFT trend for themselves.

What many fans miss is that it is possible to create NFTs in a manner that is not at the expense of the environment. In fact, many NFT platforms have adopted more environmentally responsible methods of minting by incorporating energy-efficient blockchains such as Tezos, Flow, Polygon and Solana. These blockchains operate using a consensus mechanism called proof-of-stake (PoS) to validate transactions on the blockchain, such as minting an NFT. This type of consensus mechanism requires considerably less energy than proof-of-work (PoW), the previously dominant way to validate transactions, as we’ll explain shortly.

But given the amount of technical jargon and misinformation regarding NFTs, the barrier to entry can feel overwhelming when it comes to conducting one’s due diligence. Before any artist enters the NFT arena, there are four key factors to be considered to maximize eco-friendliness: PoW, PoS, sidechains and carbon neutrality.

Related: How blockchain technology is transforming climate action

Proof-of-work

Environmental concerns surrounding NFTs primarily stem from a consensus mechanism called proof-of-work. In essence, PoW functions as a security detail for cryptocurrency transactions. To ensure that transactions are secure and legitimate, computers must solve arbitrary mathematical puzzles as verification. The computers involved in this process require large amounts of electricity, hence the community backlash some celebrities have received after launching NFTs on PoW chains.

Related: Green Bitcoin: The impact and importance of energy use for PoW

Proof-of-stake

Fortunately, not all blockchains require PoW, and — contrary to popular misconception — NFTs can be minted in a manner that is environmentally conscious. This is where proof-of-stake presents a compelling solution. As opposed to requiring energy-guzzling computers to solve puzzles to verify transactions, PoS simply requires individuals to stake their crypto in order to participate in validating transactions to earn rewards.

As noted previously, a few popular PoS blockchains include Tezos, Flow, Solana and Polygon. Tezos in particular has garnered significant attention for its low use of energy — for an easy comparison, 50 million transactions on Tezos produces carbon emissions of just 17 global citizens.

Related: Proof-of-stake or proof-of-work, that is the question

Further, one of the leading blockchains in the NFT ecosystem — Ethereum — will soon transition from a PoW to PoS system. According to the Ethereum Foundation, the network’s upcoming switch from PoW to PoS, rumored to be coming this fall, will allow it to become roughly 2000 times more energy efficient and reduce total energy use by 99.95%.

Sidechains and layer-2 solutions

Another alternative to circumvent the excessive energy consumption of PoW is sidechains, which are independent blockchains that operate parallel to mainchains like Ethereum. This independence allows sidechains to enact their own rules surrounding transactions, security and governance. Since sidechains don’t have to rely on a distributed network of computers to verify transactions, their carbon footprint is greatly reduced.

A great example of a popular sidechain in the NFT space is Polygon. Notably, Polygon is also a layer-2 solution, or a third-party protocol, which supports the Ethereum mainchain by improving transaction speed and gas efficiency. The community-governed nature offered by many of these sidechains is particularly well aligned with creators and developers who seek to build mutually beneficial economies with their fans, making sidechains a compelling option for those entering the crypto space.

Carbon neutrality

Regardless of whether a project utilizes PoW, PoS or sidechains, it is important that they acknowledge and maintain accountability for their carbon footprint.

There are many ways that projects can make a dedicated effort toward attaining carbon neutrality, such as implementing carbon offsets through integrations with carbon removal projects. Take, for example, Rarible’s integration with popular carbon removal marketplace Nori earlier this year, which allows anyone to offset carbon footprints for most Ethereum NFTs listed on Rarible.

With these factors in mind, it is important that artists conduct their due diligence to make sure they are choosing to mint with NFT marketplaces and projects that uphold their values.

Related: ​​Green finance needs voluntary carbon markets that work

While some have minted NFTs as a cash-grab without regard for the environment, this characterization misrepresents the community-focused intentions of the Web3 futurists and innovators behind the technology. By adopting environmentally-friendly, utility-driven NFTs, artists can unlock a new realm of possibilities for building connections and sharing value with their fans.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Alex Salnikov is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Rarible, a community-centric NFT marketplace. A blockchain trailblazer and an active developer in the crypto space since 2012, Alex previously served as the chief technology officer of CoinOffering, the first company to offer its shares in the form of blockchain assets. With a B.A. in computer science and an M.A. in data science, Alex’s specialities span a variety of sectors including market analysis, decentralized finance, NFTs, and tokenomics.

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Korean Police Ask Crypto Exchanges to Freeze Luna Foundation Guard’s Assets

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Korean Police Ask Crypto Exchanges to Freeze Luna Foundation Guard’s Assets

Korean Police Ask Crypto Exchanges to Freeze Luna Foundation Guard's Assets

The South Korean police have reportedly launched an investigation into possible embezzlement involving an employee of Terraform Labs. To prevent fund transfers, the police have requested crypto exchanges to freeze the Luna Foundation Guard’s accounts.

Embezzlement Investigation and Asset Freeze

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Cybercrime ​​Investigation Unit announced Monday that it has launched an investigation into possible embezzlement by an employee of Terraform Labs, local media reported.

An official from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency was quoted by Chosun as saying:

We have received information that there is a person suspected of embezzling corporate funds who is believed to be an employee of Terraform Labs.

The police received reports of the alleged embezzlement in the middle of this month and have been looking into the case. As part of the investigation, the police plan to check the details of cash and crypto transactions of Terraform Labs and the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG).

The police explained that there is evidence that embezzled funds had flowed into the Luna Foundation Guard’s accounts. The cybercrime unit has therefore requested major domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Upbit and Bithumb, to “urgently” freeze the accounts belonging to the Luna Foundation Guard to prevent withdrawals of funds held at crypto exchanges.

However, the police’s freeze request is not a compulsory matter according to Korean laws and regulations but a matter that needs to be arbitrarily performed by each crypto exchange. Therefore, it has not been confirmed whether the freeze requests have been carried out, the publication conveyed.

Cryptocurrency terra (LUNA) and stablecoin terrausd (UST) collapsed earlier this month after UST lost its peg to the U.S. dollar.

Following the collapse, the Korean government launched an emergency investigation into the two coins and met with representatives of the country’s top crypto exchanges to discuss measures to prevent similar incidents from happening.

Last week, a number of victims filed a lawsuit against Terraform Labs CEO Kwon Do-hyung (aka Do Kwon) with the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office on charges of violating the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Crimes (fraud) and the Act on the Regulation of Similar Receipts.

In addition, Do Kwon dissolved Terraform Labs Korea days before the collapse of LUNA and UST. While many suspected foul play, Kwon claimed that the timing was just “coincidental.” He also claims that his company does not owe the Korean government any taxes.

What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Registration For The Upcoming VERSE Token By Bitcoin․com Is Now Open

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Registration For The Upcoming VERSE Token By Bitcoin․com Is Now Open

press release

Registrations are now open for the VERSE token sale, which will begin in the later part of June 2022. Interested parties who register can participate in the token sale immediately upon launch.

Miami, Florida – May 23rd, 2022 – VERSE is the rewards and utility token distributed to holders who participate in the Bitcoin.com ecosystem. Bitcoin.com is a global leader in introducing newcomers to cryptocurrency and is the go-to platform for educational resources, news, and more. Bitcoin.com’s ecosystem includes 30 million wallets and more than five million monthly active users across various products and services.

The VERSE token will reward users who engage in buying, selling, spending, swapping, and staying informed about cryptocurrency. Rewards will be allocated by interacting with the Verse DEX, staking VERSE, cashback paid in VERSE, and using VERSE as collateral in various lending pools. Additionally, token holders will receive access to exclusive products and services.

VERSE is a cross-chain token using the ERC-20 token standard on the Ethereum blockchain. The Verse team will actively explore opportunities to expand the token into low-fee Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible networks to provide an optimal user experience.

The VERSE supply is fixed at 210 billion tokens, distributed over seven years through a block-to-block approach. A further breakdown looks as follows:

  • 10% sold during Sale A (completed in May 2022)
  • 6% being sold during Sale B (coming in June 2022)
  • 15% allocated to the team
  • 35% set aside for ecosystem incentives
  • 34% will be used for funding future development of Verse and its ecosystem

The first token sale raised $33.6 million last month from notable market participants such as Blockchain.com, KuCoin, and Digital Strategies along with thought leaders like Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, and David Wachsman.

“We were honored to see such outspoken support during our first token sale round. Furthermore, we could not be more excited about bringing our second token sale to the public and providing more people with access to VERSE. This new utility token marks a crucial milestone for the Bitcoin.com ecosystem. It will enable us to enhance the mainstream appeal of cryptocurrency and blockchain through our buy/sell services, news coverage, and educational tools” said Dennis Jarvis, CEO Bitcoin.com.

To participate in the upcoming VERSE token sale, interested parties need to register on the Verse website. They will be the first to know when the VERSE token sale is live.

Registrants need an Ethereum wallet – such as the Bitcoin.com Wallet – to receive the VERSE tokens. Payment for the token sale is possible with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, USDT, and USDC.

The Verse community already counts over twenty-five thousand participants combined across Telegram and Discord. VERSE tokens will be minted following the conclusion of the Verse public sale in July.

The VERSE token sale is not available to U.S. purchasers.

Bitcoin.com

Bitcoin.com is your premier source for everything Bitcoin-related. We can help you buy bitcoins and choose a bitcoin wallet. You can also read the latest news, or engage with the community on our Bitcoin Forum. Please keep in mind that this is a commercial website that lists wallets, exchanges and other Bitcoin-related companies.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Popular Radio Presenter Suspended for Alleged Ties to Bitcoin Scam

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Popular Radio Presenter Suspended for Alleged Ties to Bitcoin Scam

South Africa’s national broadcaster has suspended one of its employees that is accused of convincing unsuspecting people, including pensioners, to invest in a cryptocurrency scam. More than 100 people are believed to have fallen victim to promises of very high returns to investors in the bitcoin investment scheme.

300% Return on Investment

The South African state broadcaster recently suspended one of its radio presenters, Sebasa Mogale, after a media exposé suggested he may have been part of a cryptocurrency scam outfit that reportedly promised a 300% return on investment.

The decision to suspend the popular broadcaster, who also plays a role in South Africa’s popular television series Skeem Saam, was made after an investigative report by the media outlet Carte Blanche identified him as one of the masterminds behind the scam that allegedly fleeced more than 100 people.

Reports of Mogale’s suspension were confirmed by Gugu Ntuli, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) group executive responsible for corporate affairs and marketing. In a statement, the executive said:

Thobela FM has taken a decision to unschedule Sebasa Mogale, (Ntshirogele) Afternoon Drive presenter, following the Carte Blanche exposé. Mr Mogale is being afforded an opportunity to resolve the issues raised in the recent broadcast which pertain to his personal business dealings involving cryptocurrency.

Ntuli added that the SABC will “leave no stone unturned” in its own probe into Mogale’s role in the scam.

A Confidence Trickster

According to an exposé by Carte Blanche, Mogale had used his celebrity status to lure some listeners of his radio show to invest. The media outlet’s report said investors with no training in personal finance management had “cashed in their pensions and savings policies.” However, in the end, Mogale’s promises turned out to be empty.

“But for at least 140 people the man they trusted to guide them through the crypto maze appears to have been little more than a confidence trickster,” reads part of Carte Blanche’s summary of the exposé.

Following news of Mogale’s suspension, some of the victims of the scam have come forward to reveal their losses. Sello Bonoko is quoted in another report explaining he became a victim after he listened to Mogale’s bitcoin investment pitch that “sounded convincing.” He also said he trusted Mogale’s promises primarily because these were made on national radio. Bonoko said he lost more than $14,500 (R230,000).

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the South African police is quoted in the report telling Mogale’s victims to file reports with law enforcement. He said the police can only act after formally receiving the complaints.

What are your thoughts on this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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