Later this week WildEarth will launch its first set of animal NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to the world. This ‘Genesis’ set contains around 25 collections of animals you all know well. (For more detailed info, please visit wildearth.tv/nft).
Different from more traditional collections like the various ‘Bored Apes’ and ‘Cryptokitties’, these NFTs have a real-world purpose. They are designed to support conservation and the protection of the land and habitat that these animals we all love and care about live on. A further difference from ‘apes and kitties’ is that our animal NFTs do not run on one of those high-energy chains that many associate with crypto coins and NFTs. But, rather, on a more modern and vastly more energy-efficient one: Polygon, with its currency MATIC. We’ve chosen this chain because it uses less than one-thousandth of one per cent of the amount of energy for a transaction than e.g. Ethereum does. To put that into perspective; while the energy used to purchase or sell one NFT on Ethereum might power a US household for six days, the same transaction on Polygon uses less energy than it takes to charge your mobile phone or to watch our safaris for about ten minutes on your TV or desktop computer.
Going with Polygon was a conscious decision, despite it making the execution of the project more complicated, as we fully agree that the very high energy consumption of e.g. BitCoin or Ethereum does not go together well with protecting wildlife and conserving nature.
Over the past weeks, we’ve seen mixed reactions from many of you in our community. This was to be expected as there are a lot of aspects around the ‘crypto space’ that are not and will never be everyone’s cup of tea. The abovementioned energy-use of certain chains being a major one, but also that many creators are anonymous, the risk of fraud and scams that comes with that, and the speculative aspects of artwork NFTs that have received most of the news coverage.
Where it comes to WildEarth’s animal NFTs, WE are confident that by being open about who we are – real people, a vibrant community, and a company that has been around for well over a decade – and by building our animal NFTs around a true, real-world and valuable purpose, we are addressing those concerns. We expect people will want to own and trade our animal NFTs for what they give them- and their purpose – rather than (just) because of the expectation of profit.
We are proud to be embarking on this journey that will connect people with nature in a novel way; and one that is mutually beneficial. We see these Genesis collections as just the beginning of something that, over time, will expand beyond WildEarth TV and its broadcasts. We believe these animal NFTs will be making a significant and material contribution to natural habitat conservation around the world.
We hope many of you will join us, but fully understand if this specific project is not for you, too.