NFTs have lots of things in their favour, but sustainability hasn’t been one of them. Until now. Palm is introducing an alternative NFT network which loves the planet as much as it loves the blockchain, showing that NFTs can be eco-friendly too.
Palm is the latest venture by Ethereum and ConsenSys co-founder Joe Lubin, and it’s 99% more energy efficient than the existing proof-of-work Ethereum blockchain. That’s pretty impressive in anyone’s language.
With ConsenSys (the crew behind the Qoin Quorum blockchain) working alongside Palm as node operators, the new platform is designed to complement Ethereum rather than compete with it. As an Ethereum sidechain, the goal is increased decentralisation over time.
Art, currency and ownership
Palm is kicking off with a bang. Renowned artist Damien Hirst is launching The Currency Project, a 10,000-strong series of unique oil paintings which has been stashed in a vault.
Created five years ago, with each one tied to a corresponding NFT, the conceptual project plays with the idea of art as cryptocurrency.
As reported by The Art Newspaper, the artworks explore the idea of ownership and the cult of wealth—two favourite topics for the avant-garde artist who created the diamond-studded skull in For the Love of God.
In Hurst’s own words: “Art doesn’t have to just exist in the physical world, it can also exist in the digital world too, and now because of the blockchain so can the ownership of that art.”
Palm: a sustainable work in progress
The Palm platform centres on a native token, $PALM. It demonstrates a shift from proof-of-work based blockchain networks to a far more energy-efficient proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
The full transition is likely to take a year, with Palm providing the most sustainable trade-offs for creatives and curators while Eth2 rolls out.
According to Palm co-founder and CEO Dan Heyman, the platform will use the more centralised proof-of-authority algorithm in the short term. This will then transition to a decentralised system as time goes on.
Potential eco benefits are huge
An environmentally friendly method of minting and trading NFTs is long overdue.
Computer scientist and artist Memo Akten has extensively researched the eco impact of the crypto art sector. He calculates that one NFT, minted on Super Rare, equates to about 211kg of CO2.
So, if Hurst’s 10,000 NFTs had dropped on another site, they would have generated a fairly catastrophic amount of carbon dioxide—more than two million kilograms, or the equivalent of driving 432 cars over a year.
Palm has the potential to transform the NFT space, with a sustainable trading system which is kind to the planet.
With Palm also promising super-low gas fees for users of the platform, an energy-efficient future looks bright!