Weekly NFT roundup March 30-April 6: mass industry adoption and environmental concerns

Fin Strathern reports on blockchain and cryptocurrencies for TechForge Media. You can connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/finstrathern/.

Continuing our new series, this week saw increased NFT adoption in a variety of industries, especially music and art, amidst growing concerns over the environmental impact of NFTs. You can take a look at last week’s roundup here, or read all of The Block’s NFT stories here.

India’s largest crypto exchange launches NFT marketplace

WazirX continues its successful start to 2021 with the launch of India’s first NFT marketplace. Last month the company’s in-house exchange token, WRX, increased in value by 2,000% from 20p to £4.09. Furthermore, the exchange has seen a 631% increase in visitors to its website as cryptocurrency markets continue to grow rapidly in India. The launch of the NFT platform comes despite strong indications from Indian officials that there could be a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies possibly as early as this year.

Speaking on the launch of the marketplace, WazirX founder Nischal Shetty said he is ‘delighted to launch one of India’s first NFT marketplaces’. “Since our inception, we have been at the forefront of innovation, empowering our customers with value-added offerings,” Shetty added.

P.A.S.C.A.L. Foundation becomes first charity to engage with NFTs

The P.A.S.C.A.L. Foundation is collaborating with international partners to drop several exclusive NFT-related projects for charity throughout 2021. The foundation, which provides resources, education, and healthcare to assist children in LEDCs around the world, is working on a collaborative album between ten international producers and recording artists alongside ten digital artists that will be exhibited for auction as a unique NFT.

“Our involvement in NFTs as a way of giving back through art and music is the way of the future. International celebrities, artists, and brands reaching out to collaborate in helping these kids is just the beginning of greater things to come,” said P.A.S.C.A.L. co-founder, Stef van der Velde.

Musicians Snoop Dogg and M.I.A. join the NFT marketplace

Amongst other artists and content creators, renowned musicians Snoop Dogg and M.I.A. both announced NFT auctions for personalised artwork this week.

Snoop Dogg collaborated with Crypto.com with a collection entitled ‘A Journey with the Dogg’ including original artwork and a new song titled ‘NFT’. The collection dropped for 24 hours on 2 April and whilst sale prices are not shown the collection can be viewed here.

Meanwhile, M.I.A. is set to launch her first NFT auction on 8 April through the Foundation marketplace with a collection ‘bookending her 25-year tenure as a digital artist’.

Resistance grows to NFTs – ‘catastrophic’ waste of energy

Senior lecturer in international development at Northumbria University, Peter Howson, has published an article debating the energy impacts of NFTs. He reports that:

  • Ethereum uses about 31 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity a year, about as much as the whole of Nigeria
  • Although it’s difficult to calculate exactly how much responsibility the NFT industry should take for Ethereum’s carbon emissions, the growing demand for digital art means NFT buyers and sellers are becoming liable for an increasing share of Ethereum’s total energy usage
  • Sidechains present an alternative technology for NFTs that use negligible amounts of energy in comparison to blockchains because these transactions occur on a more centralised platform where costs (and carbon footprints) are much lower

Photo by NORTHFOLK on Unsplash

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