Nemus: NFTs Gone Green

Nemus is offering NFTs representing tracts of land in the Amazon in the name of sustainability.

NFTs are Going Green

More often than not, when it comes to the issue of climate change, crypto has a negative reputation. However, a Brazilian company called Nemus is using NFTs to do the opposite. Nemus is selling NFTs which allow buyers to sponsor the preservation of specific tracts of rainforest. Nemus owns 410 square kilometres of Amazonian jungle.

This sponsorship will help foster sustainable development, preserve trees and regenerate clear-cut areas. While the holders of the tokens are not owners of the land itself, they will be able to confirm the preservation through satellite technology and other methods. The blockchain medium adds the extra transparency, which is always helpful in development. 

First Steps

On the first day, Nemus sold an initial offer of ten percent for 8,000 hectares. By acre, the plots range from .6 to 200 acres (by hectare, a quarter of a hectare to 81 hectares). Nemus’ owner, Flavio de Meira Penna, intends to buy two million more hectares in Pauini, Amazonas. Nemus will support sustainable development activities like harvesting Brazil nuts and acai berries, on top of saving trees. Amazonian flora and fauna artwork make up the NFT tokens, courtesy of Concept Art House. 

The Green Blockchain Debate

Blockchain technology requires a lot of computing power. Computing power needs a lot of electricity, and this releases greenhouse gases. One artist remarked that the sale of one crypto piece of art used as much energy as the art studio uses in two years.

The challenge remains in how to balance a new lucrative medium or technology with the need to offset carbon emissions in a world of climate change. In proof-of-work or setting up computers to work to solve equations, the energy consumption required is significant. Ethereum currently uses an estimated energy use of 112 terawatt-hours per year (13 terawatt hours less than Sweden’s in 2020).   

Indeed, NFT transactions do have a cost, but Penna disagrees. He states that the environmental benefit of preserving jungle and doing sustainable development outweighs the environmental cost of using NFTs.

Besides that, there are other green options on the horizon. One way is to use a proof-of-stake process, as opposed to a proof-of-work process. The blueprint is called “Ethereum 2.0” and the switch over date is still unknown.  

Another method is carbon offsetting, which guarantees that with every crypto purchase, there will be credits counting against the emissions. However, this is difficult to monitor and certify, and many previous carbon credit schemes have failed to make an impact.

There are disagreements on how energy use changes can impact carbon emissions, especially with seasonal ups and downs in a fossil fuel system. Some estimates put the potential for clean “mining” operations at 70%.


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