The Rise of Impact NFTs – NFTs for sustainable development

June 22, 2022

By Anjali Kochhar and Joe Pan

A Bored Ape NFT (non-fungible tokens) as your Twitter profile picture goes with the trend but can we really use NFTs to bring a social, environmental, or cultural change to the environment?

Seems like it’s possible now with a new group of NFTs called Impact NFTs. These NFTs are designed to fund positive social, cultural, sustainable development or environmental impact. They act as digital assets for recording and enumerating impact actions in the physical world.

While all NFTs have some way or the other have a commercial value attached to them but why not prefer something that also contributes to a cause, asks Rica Amaral, head of marketing and creative strategy at Project Ark.

Speaking to about Project Ark, a blockchain-powered conservation platform, Amaral said, “Preservation is cost-effective and our focus is on the ecosystem in the environment and species, to build NFTs that support this cause but there could be other projects that work for social impact or maybe a project that works for mental health cause or so on.”

“Ultimately, everyone wants to make money but the main thing is really supporting and funneling funds and support for preservation before impact erodes sadly,” he adds.

While normal NFTs are designed by using a proof-of-work mechanism, which is very energy-consuming, Impact NFTs are designed using a proof of stake or negligible carbon minting process. This ensures that a token is environmentally considerate and may even be climate positive.

An Impact NFT is also different from a regular NFT in that it is designed to fund positive social or environmental impact, acting as a digital asset for impact investing.

Speaking about the same, Pedro Robledo, head of Public Affairs & Communications at Quantum Temple, a carbon-neutral NFT marketplace, said, “Designed to fund sustainable development and environmental impact, with the benefits of transparency and traceability facilitated by blockchain technology, Impact NFTs can help overturn the degradation of cultural heritage preservation across communities and therefore give NFTs a clear positive use, far from the financial gambling approach.”

While a majority know about NFTs, not many in the digital space are still familiar with Impact NFTs. Amaral believes that there are a lot of projects in the space that many of us have not heard of because they are not “very high-tech.”

To name some besides Project Ark, there are projects like Coral Tribe NFTs, MetaTrees, PhenomXHealth, and Woodies, that are working on the same mission of having a social and environmental impact through NFTs.

However, there is a gap that needs to be filled, Amaral believes.

“The mass adoption (of Impact NFTs) will take some two to three years because if you see the number of people on it, it’s very little. There are a lot of people who have a lot of doubts or questions about blockchain because people don’t understand how it works. And they think blockchain is only Bitcoin or Ethereum. But there’s much more to it. Like so many changes, so many different ways of doing it. So that’s why I say that maybe we are like two or three years too early in this sense,” Amaral added.

Speaking about the rise of Impact NFTs, Robledo adds, that when encountered with Web 3.0 technologies, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) sees a way through which it can consolidate its cultural heritage preservation mission.

Image copyright Forbes

About the author

Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.

Joe Pan is a contributing editor at the Blockchain Asset Review.

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