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Research Reveals The Environmental Impact Of NFTs – Over 32 Million Trees Needed To Offset Co2 Emissions

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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New research can today reveal the environmental impact of NFTs – with over 32 million trees needed to offset the emissions created by the world’s biggest NFT collections… 


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The Environmental Impact Of NFTs

The experts at NFT Club have analysed the energy consumed over the lifespan of an NFT, to reveal how many trees are required to offset the CO2 emissions produced as a result of creating and purchasing the digital artwork.

The researchers also created a new calculator that reveals how much impact your NFT portfolio is having on the environment and how many trees would be needed to offset its carbon emissions.

The most environmentally damaging NFT collections: 

If we combine the CO2 emissions for the top 68 NFT collections, that would need a staggering 32.8 MILLION trees planted to offset the emissions created.

Rank NFT Collection Total No. of Sales  Total Carbon Cost of Collection (kg of CO2) No. Trees to Offset Emissions 
1 Axie Infinity 18,576,109.00 1,522,309,527.00 25,371,825.45
2 CryptoKitties 2,911,060.00 239,833,200.00 3,997,220.00
3 Sorare 423,720.00 34,820,246.00 580,337.43
4 Art Blocks 281,779.00 23,127,067.00 385,451.12
5 The Sandbox 141,085.00 11,574,739.00 192,912.32
6 Decentraland 133,795.00 11,036,317.00 183,938.62
7 MyCryptoHeroes 57,438.00 4,689,972.00 78,166.20
8 Adam Bomb Squad 52,564.00 4,307,682.00 71,794.70
9 Wolf Game 45,162.00 3,685,574.00 61,426.23
10 Mutant Ape Yacht Club 41,243.00 3,376,245.00 56,270.75
  1. Axie Infinity: 25.4 million trees

With by far the biggest eco impact of any NFT collection Axie Infinity has produced over 1.5 billion kgs of CO2. All other collections studied produced less than a third of this figure combined. This means 25.4 million trees would be needed to offset collection and become carbon neutral.

  1. CryptoKitties: 3.99 million trees

CryptoKitties requires the second most trees to offset its carbon emissions which stand at 239,833 kgs of CO2. It will take nearly 4 million trees to counteract this collection.

  1. Sorare: 580,337 trees

Despite having produced over 200 million fewer KGs of CO2, Sorare is the collection that has the third biggest eco impact. Producing nearly 35 million kgs of CO2 it will take 580,337 trees to offset its carbon emissions.

The research also revealed: 

  • It takes 1.37 trees to offset one NFT sale, this would mean the number of trees needed to account for 5 million NFT sales would be 6.85 million.
  • An average acre of forest can offset the carbon emissions of around 1,764 NFT trades.
  • Adding an NFT to a blockchain produces 83kg of carbon alone, that’s before sale, transfer or secondary sale.
  • Snoop Dogg, one of the most prolific celebrities trading NFTs, currently has a portfolio of 3,683 meaning he would need to plant 5,050 trees to account for the environmental impact of his collection.

Check out the full report here.

Updated on

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