“What’s an NFT, and Why is it bad?”
Hi Everyone! I've had some people reach out to me today about NFT's, and why it's bad that Gorillaz is involved. So I've decided to compile a ton of info in a post for people who are confused, and tips on how to help!
TL;DR: Gorillaz have announced that they are producing NFTs, a form of crypto currency attached to digital art that wastes more energy than most people’s homes do in a year.
What is an NFT?
An NFT (non-fungible token), also known as Cryptoart, is a unit of unique data that represents a digital item, typically digital art, music, videos, and other digital files. Basically, think of it like a Bitcoin that is linked to or attached to a .jpg.
It’s complicated, but in theory, it's meant to be like fine art auctions, but for digital art. However, buying an NFT does NOT give you ownership of the file, or even exclusive access to the file. Anyone else can view and save the original image/file. All the buyer gets is the unique digital metadata that is attached to it.
Here is a video by the Wall Street Journal that does a good job of breaking down what an NFT is.
Why is it bad?
NFT’s are controversial for several reasons.
For one, you do not need to prove that you are the original artist or creator of the digital art to tokenize it. That basically means that anyone can take your digital art and sell it as an NFT. Shitty, I know.
It is an incredibly inaccessible and fluctuating market, and works like a pyramid scheme. (linked is a very good infographic on the topic by Cabeza Patata on Instagram.)
However, the most damning and negative side effect is its environmental impact. Because of the large amount of computing power needed to create NFTs, an INSANE amount of energy is used, creating a LOT of pollution. An UNETHICAL amount of pollution.
To quote this article by Uproxx, “In one instance, the 10 seconds it took [...] to sell six NFTs consumed 8.7 megawatt-hours of energy, comparable to the amount of electricity used by a household in a single year.”
It’s hard to explain exactly HOW or WHY it uses so much power, so here are some articles that do a better job of explaining it than I can:
NFTs Are Hot. So Is Their Effect on the Earth’s Climate - Wired
The carbon footprint of creating and selling an NFT artwork - Quartz
HERE IS THE ARTICLE YOU CAN SEND TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY SAY “BUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES WITH CRYPTOART WILL BE SOLVED SOON, RIGHT?” - by Everest Pipkin
What does this have to do with Gorillaz?
Yesterday, Gorillaz announced that they would be collaborating with Superplastic to produce products for their 20th anniversary, including NFTs.
This is a huge kick in the face due to the fact that Gorillaz has always produced music preaching environmental consciousness, and is deeply disappointing to fans. It’s hard to say if Jamie or Damon are fully aware of NFT’s impact, but regardless, it is a huge blow to the message of Gorillaz.
What can I do about it?
**DO NOT GIVE YOUR MONEY TO GORILLAZ OR SUPERPLASTIC.** DONT EVEN STREAM THEIR MUSIC. DO NOT SUPPORT GORILLAZ FINACIALLY UNTIL THEY ADDRESS THIS IN A MEANINGFUL WAY.
Instead, you can:
Support Gorillaz fan artists by commissioning them or buying their prints!
Buy any Gorillaz merch second hand/used (but take care to avoid scalpers.)
Here is a petition for Gorillaz to cut ties with Superplastic and stop production of NFTs!
Support organizations like The Climate Emergency Fund, The Clean Energy Innovation program, and other organizations fighting climate change.
Spread the word! Share this Post! Stay informed! Make sure everyone knows about the impacts of NFTs! This should go beyond the sphere of the Gorillaz fandom!
I hope this has been informative! And fuck NFTs!
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