Last week, Jacob Collier became one of the latest artists to announce plans to sell some non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as part of 2021’s big tech craze. Now he has shelved those plans, and the reasons are worth talking about.
“Friends! I have decided to halt today’s NFT auction, and postpone it to a time where the methods are more sustainable and ecologically sound,” wrote Collier. “I truly believe that NFTs will be able to radically change and decentralise the creative industry as we know it, once the tech is proven to be more sustainable. I am all for it – but, in the midst of a climate crisis, there are other things that feel more important at this time.”
This is an issue that has been making some headlines this week: the environmental impact of the computer transactions used to authenticate and sell NFTs. Or, as Mashable put it last week: “Think cryptocurrency is bad? NFTs are even worse”. Another piece, “The Unreasonable Ecological Cost of #CryptoArt“, broke down the ecological impact in some detail, also from a critical point of view.
The crypto/environmental debate is wider than this, but it’s now extending to music NFTs: hopefully, everyone planning the latter will research the full range of views on it, rather than ignoring the issue.
Image by Anton Diaz (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)