Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are hot right now, but so is our climate.
While it's becoming widely accepted that blockchain is the key to building transparent free markets, we all agree there must be a way to achieve this without sacrificing the earth.
There doesn't need to be a trade-off between financial equity and environmental sustainability, which is why we're introducing a plan to enable carbon-neutral NFTs by 2030, led by our upcoming solutions JumpNet and Efinity.
The Proof of Work method of blockchain data validation made it possible to build the two most important decentralized networks to date: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
However, the consensus method is designed to exhaust an awful amount of electricity, and far more sustainable options have arrived since Bitcoin was first born 12 years ago.
In the short-term (within months), Ethereum is planned to hard-fork toward becoming a Proof of Stake network.
In the mid-term (within years), Ethereum will introduce sharding, which will further reduce the breadth of nodes required to validate each transaction.
In the long-term, we as a society hope to move away from fossil fuels.
At Enjin, we are energized by a mission to solve our partners' and users' hardest problems, and in turn, contribute to the betterment of our wider society. Humanity faces its all-time greatest challenge; every month counts, and we must meet the moment with the urgency it deserves.
We have already created and launched the ERC-1155 token standard, which saves projects up to 90% on gas when minting NFTs. This, in-turn, alleviates weight on the Ethereum network which lowers mining rewards, giving less incentive for miners to spend money on electricity. Now it's time to take things to the next level.
On April 6, we will launch JumpNet, a Proof of Authority blockchain that runs on five nodes that consume 30,000,000 watts per year.
This will allow Enjin Ecosystem creators to mint NFTs on a network that consumes ~0.000002 of the electricity of the Ethereum blockchain.
Later in 2021, we will launch Efinity, a Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain that will be governed by approximately 1,000 nodes and validators.
Efinity will consume approximately 4,060,000,000,000 watts per year, which is ~0.15 of the electricity used by Ethereum.
Due to its PoS infrastructure, Efinity's carbon footprint will not increase even as it becomes more popular and the network's value rises. Over time, both solutions will help alleviate pressure on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing it to function more sustainably.
While the environmental impact of Proof of Work is significant, the carbon created to produce that electricity pales in comparison to the carbon generated through the physical economy.
Blockchain infrastructure, in unison with AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) technologies, is enabling physical industries like fashion to move into the digital space.
It costs our atmosphere 33.4 kilograms of carbon to create a pair of jeans in the physical world, an IOU that humanity will have to pay back over the coming years.
At Enjin we are working with a variety of brands, games, and apps to create a more sustainable physical world by allowing people to tell their stories and express their identities through fashion NFTs in the virtual space.
This year, we will launch our Ethereum to JumpNet bridge which will allow NFT holders to move their tokens onto a network that creates less than ~0.0002% of the carbon that Ethereum currently does.
Furthermore, JumpNet and Efinity are collectively designed to act like a carbon-NFT vacuum cleaner that absorbs tokens from other blockchains.
They do this by incentivizing network participants to move their tokens across bridging smart contracts and onto JumpNet and Efinity, where they will enjoy low fees and block rewards for their contributions to the Enjin economy.
The carbon footprint of any blockchain is inherently caused by the unsustainable way we generate electricity.
Fossil fuels are the most inefficient form of solar power imaginable. Plants capture sunlight and transform it into chemical energy via photosynthesis, which is then consumed by animals.
Fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas are formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years. We then burn that fuel and convert the energy into electricity.
As a society, it's imperative that we power all important technologies with direct solar power, starting with our blockchains.
Therefore, Enjin will work with JumpNet partners and Efinity ecosystem developers to move to carbon-neutral nodes by 2030.
The Efinity network is endowed with a treasury that can be used to fund projects and technologies that serve the greater good. Using a decentralized governance process, network participants may propose and vote on treasury grants that will fund worthy projects.
Enjin and its community are laser-focused on creating solutions that can change the world for the better.
The Efinity Treasury will be an opportunity for us all to support carbon reduction and carbon removal technologies—and invest in humanity's most valuable non-fungible asset: Planet Earth.