Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are perhaps one of the most divisive technologies to emerge in 2021. While CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based game built around cartoonish tokenized felines, made a few mainstream headlines back in 2018, it wasn’t until the jaw-dropping $69 million NFT art sale by Beeple that the flood gates of hype were finally open. Now, here we are: while some are urging Twitter to come up with a name for their NFT ape, others are lashing out at the technology as a pointless and unsustainable fad.
Perhaps the latter point requires some clarification. And that is something that NFT marketing solutions should really be putting more effort into, because those same pain points are not as dire as critics say. But to get this point across, we have to get into some of the technical nitty-gritty behind the bored apes and all sorts of other animals.
The On-Chain Contracts
Like numerous other services and assets in the crypto space, NFTs rely on smart contracts, decentralized applications stored and executed on-chain. These contracts are used to mint the non-fungible tokens, linking them with underlying assets in a process run by the blockchain network. The network’s own energy needs essentially define NFTs’ environmental impact.
Out of the two largest blockchains, Bitcoin and Ethereum, only the latter supports smart contracts. This feature made Ethereum a popular infrastructure solution for NFT projects, or, rather, an undisputed king in the field. And this is where we encounter the main problem, Ethereum’s high appetite for energy. An NFT released on Ethereum needs a lot of power simply because Ethereum needs a lot of power, this is the equation.
The blockchain’s energy needs, for their part, heavily depend on its choice of consensus mechanism, a set of rules for making sure all network nodes agree on the current state of the decentralized database. Ethereum relies on the Proof-of-Work model, which is resource-heavy and thus requires a lot of juice to run. But there are alternatives at hand, and it would be good for NFT marketing solutions to get that part across more clearly.
What NFT Marketing Solutions Must Emphasize
The Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm is an increasingly popular alternative to Proof-of-Work. The model sees validators stake their coins into the system for a chance to be selected to add the next block to the blockchain and claim the reward for that. With this protocol, miners no longer need to run high-power farms, which require a lot of electricity.
Ethereum itself is planning to move to Proof-of-Stake with its future updates. Other popular blockchains, such as Cardano and WAX, are already utilizing this consensus mechanism, featuring lower energy needs compared to Ethereum. As the industry matures, more blockchains will move toward sustainability, which would in turn make NFTs more eco-friendly.
This blind spot in the discourse is something that all NFT marketing solutions must begin taking into account. All NFT projects, where focusing on digital art or gaming, must make sure to include sustainability into both their design decisions and promotional messaging, displaying not just awareness of the problem, but also the steps taken to solve it.
Good PR Helps Succeed With NFTs
It takes more than a good idea to get great visibility: you also need to make sure that your message is tailored to the audience and delivered across the right channels. For that, you need the help of the ReBlonde team. With seasoned PR veterans at the helm and experienced content and media departments, the agency will help your project shine. Get your free consultation with us today to discuss your NFT Marketing needs!