NFTs Face a Setback as Brands and Publishers Consider Environmental Implications

Still looking for that lean, green, nonfungible token minting machine

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If you’ve given even a cursory look into the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, you can quickly get lost in the wash of near-meaningless analogies. The Ethereum network uses as much energy annually as the country of Chile, and selling a nonfungible token uses as much energy as a European Union resident’s electricity consumption for one-and-a-half months. Mining Bitcoin uses more electricity than entire countries like Argentina.

Marketers and publishers have found enticing ways of using NFTs—forms of digital tokens minted on blockchain platforms like Ethereum—to drive new revenue streams and connect with communities.

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This story first appeared in the Nov. 1, 2021, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.