The UK’s World Wildlife Fund has faced backlash over the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that led them to closing the NFT sale less than 48 hours after launching.
“After extensive research and appropriate due diligence, we firmly believe that the benefits to our organisation and to our work brought about by entering the NFT space are worth the limited environmental impact of minting NFTs on Polygon,” the statement on the website noted.
WWF’s Tokens for Nature were intended to provide an alternative to the notoriously energy inefficient Ethereum network, by using the Layer 2 blockchain Polygon which claims to be far more energy efficient. However, after hyping up the launch of Tokens for Nature, the WWF charity posted a statement on their website that cancelled any further plans to mint NFTs:
“We recognise that NFTs are a much debated issue and we all have lots to learn about this new market, which is why we will now fully assess the impact of this trial and reflect on how we can best continue to innovate to engage our supporters”
Given the controversy surrounding the environmental impact of NFTs, the backlash that the wildlife charity faced is to be expected. Despite initially defending the “limited environmental impact” of minting NFTs on Polygon, the WWF has doubled back on their initial stance, and has no further plans to continue with their NFT venture.
Interestingly, the WWF has not taken down their Tokens for Nature NFTs, which depicts 13 endangered species including the giant panda, tapanuli orangutan, and the javan rhino.
While Polygon claims to use less energy, along with speeding up transaction times, the controversy of utilising a Layer 2 blockchain, albeit a slightly more energy efficient one, still reflects poorly on a charity that is all about environmental preservation.
Despite using “proof of stake” to validate transactions, Polygon still works in tandem with Ethereum, and with contracts on the Ethereum network that require verification using proof of work, the environmental claims are tenuous at best.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.
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