Blockchain, Environmentalism, and a More Equitable Future

My Kings of Leon Golden Ticket NFT

Prelude

The above is obviously tongue-in-cheek, and comes as a reaction to that one critique and more generally reflects my disappointment against “progressives” so out of touch with a disruptive technology that has already proven to massively improve the lives of millions worldwide (particularly in developing countries) by connecting them to a booming, global, digital economy. And beyond that, the key technology to evolve the modern economy as we know it into a more equitable post-capitalist future.

Cryptoart and the Environment

Summary: The most inefficient NFT platforms are to blame for huge Ethereum transaction costs (and environmental burden), not the idea of NFTs or cryptoart itself. The author of the analysis follows up with a compilation of dozens of more “eco-friendly” solutions in production, but their article and various opinion pieces that spun out of it (including the garbage linked above) continue to use energy costs of these worse offenders as benchmarks for the cryptoart space as a whole.

Deconstructing that NFT criticism (you know the one)

This critique on NFTs and crypto in general has become the banner for hammer-and-sickle Twitter to copy/paste and regurgitate ad nauseum. With most of the cryptoart data analysis out of the way, the below will react more broadly to general assertions made by the critique.

Crypto is inherently bad. It’s used for drugs and there are scammers too. Some people get rich off of it and others don’t. It’s just a reflection of the mining costs, anyways, so that makes it a pyramid scheme too.

USD is the currency of choice for doing illegal things. Yes, it’s genuinely concerning that there are scammers in the space. It’s a byproduct of permissionless-ness, but “written-in-code” agreements a-la smart contracts can also help by enforcing scam-proof token projects (or at the very least, prohibit scammers from using the most common methods). I will explain more on this later.

The entire crypto space is strapped to Proof-of-Work. They keep saying they will change it but they really won’t. There’s no efficient alternatives and there never will be. Proof-of-Stake isn’t even really a thing.

Canonically false and I don’t think this needs much explanation. As referenced above, the research article explaining energy consumption of NFTs later lists 10~ in-production NFT platforms that are magnitudes more efficient. Even if Ethereum’s transition to PoS takes quite some time, sidechains and L2 assert that scalability and efficiency is already here. Bitcoin is really the only one with these woes, as Lightning Network has really faltered alongside developments elsewhere in the space.

“Cryptocurrencies are a pyramid scheme that push financial scarcity onto the vulnerable”.

Honestly, this is the takeaway that really frustrates me. I have seen countless times how much good cryptocurrency has done for folks in need. I will hit on this later on in great detail.

Cryptoart is bad because all artists must starve.

Artists retaining ownership of their IP and earning commission on their work for life (at rates they set themselves and cannot be changed by a third party) is potentially the biggest win for bringing equity back to the artists ever. Artists having new communities to sell to and a far easier mechanism for selling (digitally, online, from their computer) is another massive dub. Cryptoart being bad because some artists make more than others is asinine (and beyond that, conflates earning inequality on Superrare with that of the space as a whole. Superrare has plenty of issues and a split in its community is the reason why Rarible is #1 today.)

It doesn’t matter that creating and selling art from your computer is less consumption than physical work and flying to shows.

Crypto energy use bad. Jet fuel consumption good. Got it!

Green Mining Energy is a Myth

39% of all mining energy is renewable, which is far less than it should be, but that same study references that a large majority (>75%) of all miners use some amount of renewable energy.

There is no better, more efficient NFT because NFTs get value from wasting resources.

Lol.

We do not want this (rapid fire mode)

Cryptoart remakes digital artworks as primarily tokens of monetary worth, content and concept secondary to an asset that has market value.
Definitely not, the biggest “niche” in NFTs is programmatic/generative art which is very interesting and unique. Beyond that, artists going above and beyond to bake additional functionality into their cryptoart are the ones doing the best.

Kings of Leon “Lifetime VIP”

Before digging deeper into the blockchain space as a whole, I’d like to spend a bit of time explaining the value proposition I see for my recently acquired Golden Ticket NFT, which permits me to be a lifetime VIP of Kings of Leon.

The “Left” Argument for Blockchain

I was first exposed to Bitcoin in 2013 and was immediately enamored with the idea that there was a “global internet money” that can connect anyone to anywhere throughout the world. Back then, there was a robust “microwork” economy that existed on the Bitcointalk forums. Miscellaneous work that paid a few bucks here and there.

Enabling a Post-Capitalist Evolution with Blockchain (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)

What I’ve described above reflects what I believe to be the core ethos of the blockchain space emboldened by the ability of the technology to reflect some of that ethos in tangible value.

  • Automation of management
  • Democratization of capital
  • Alignment of incentives with work
  • No cost enforcement

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Green JEFF

Green JEFF

CHIEF UNRUGGER | Skin in the game since 2013 | Marketing: BloqInc | Strategy: Vesper Finance | https://bitcoinisthedevil.com/