The World Wildlife Fund UK (WWF-UK) has back-pedaled its recent NFT project launch.
The WWF-UK launched an NFT collection dubbed "Tokens for Nature" last week in an effort to support conservation work, and following immediate controversy and backlash, the group has since decided to "bring [the NFT] trial to a close." The NFT project used the Polygon blockchain, based on Ethereum, but supposedly more environmentally friendly.
"We thank all of those who have generously supported our conservation work by purchasing NFTs. We have now agreed with our partners to bring this trial to a close this evening (Friday 4th February). We recognise that NFTs are a much debated issue and we all have lots to learn about this new market, which is why we will now fully assess the impact of this trial and reflect on how we can best continue to innovate to engage our supporters," the WWF-UK wrote in a statement.
Digital currency economist Alex de Vries estimated that a single transaction on Polygon pollutes the environment by almost 2,100 times what was initially estimated on the WWF website. Polygon, a Layer 2 blockchain, still interacts extensively with the Ethereum network to generate a large carbon footprint. de Vries estimates that close to 430 grams of carbon dioxide are produced from a single Polygon transaction, compared to the WWF's claimed 0.207 grams.
"While Layer 2 solutions can be seen as independent networks, they still rely on the security of the underlying Layer 1 network and therefore its electricity consumption and carbon footprint," said Ulrich Gallersdorfer, CEO of Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute told The Verge.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Germany is still running it's "non-fungible animal" (NFA) project. A WWF Germany spokesperson told The Verge "for us it was never about the funds. It was about raising awareness regarding the species extinction."
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