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This Non-Fungible Token (NFT) trading organisation is using NFTs to support a forward-thinking environmental cause.

The environmental fallout resulting from the amount of energy used by proof-of-work consensus algorithms that run projects like Bitcoin and Litecoin is well documented. It’s estimated that Bitcoin mining in China generates more greenhouse gas in a year than in countries like the Czech Republic and Qatar.


Read more: All that glitters: As gold goes digital what’s the future of tokenisation of real-world assets?


Quantifying the environmental impact of the creation of NFTs is not as simple as monitoring the computing power used by large-scale mining operations. Still, many experts believe it could be equally damaging.

This is especially true because the NFT segment crypto market is currently the fastest-growing, most exciting, and arguably most lucrative player in the crypto world right now. This means creators and companies alike are racing to cash in on the bonanza at virtually all costs.

A digital artist named Memo Akten analysed 18,000 NFTs earlier this year and found that the average NFT has a carbon footprint equivalent to that of a full month of electricity for the average person living in the European Union.

Whatever that amount of electricity is, it’s too much to justify the creation of jpeg files that live on the blockchain and not a sustainable long-term solution for preserving the planet

Whatever that amount of electricity is, it’s too much to justify the creation of jpeg files that live on the blockchain and not a sustainable long-term solution for preserving the planet.

What if we could use NFTs themselves to further sustainability?

Many of the world’s most influential governments and corporations are promising to either be carbon neutral or achieve net-zero status by 2025, blockchain or not. All thanks to The Business Ambition for 1.5°C. Whether or not most of the constituents making this promise are going to hold to their word remains to be seen.

Chronicle, a studio and marketplace for officially licensed digital collectibles or NFTs, is being forward-thinking not just in developing better NFT and blockchain-based solutions through its corporate initiatives, but the project has also partnered with NEAR Protocol and is working to save the giant pandas as well.

What if we could use NFTs themselves to further sustainability?

NEAR is an open-source blockchain platform that enables creators, communities, and markets to create a more interconnected and empowered world. The protocol uses a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm, which means there is no need to invest in or support the use of expensive computing power to stimulate the economy of a given cryptocurrency.

The Tech Panda spoke to Timothy Glover, Co-founder and CEO of Chronicle, about the importance of NFT platforms being environmentally conscious.

Tim Glover

Energy is required to power the blockchain. At Chronicle we are choosing an environmentally responsible approach to this issue so that we can be at the forefront of this evolution

“We are moving into a megatrend. Web 3.0 is here: the doors to the next evolution of the technology sector is occurring in front of our eyes. Whilst in the past it was about hardware, software, now it’s about scalability and interoperability. This is where environmental considerations are becoming more relevant,” says the CEO, who also worked with Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment in a consulting and creative writing capacity on the Jurassic World franchise.

He further says that since blockchain technology is still in its infancy, the mechanisms to drive its evolution need to be collectively referred.

“Sure, we understand the necessity for security and transparency, but also, the driving factor of both, really, is energy. Energy is required to power the blockchain. At Chronicle we are choosing an environmentally responsible approach to this issue so that we can be at the forefront of this evolution.”

He also says that there’s a need to look at the world as a heterogeneous system.

Climate change is indeed occurring and as responsible corporate citizens, Chronicle sees itself as the spearhead in both the NFT space and making sure the new generation of blockchain users appreciate the importance of our environment and its place in all forms of economics

“Climate change is indeed occurring and as responsible corporate citizens, Chronicle sees itself as the spearhead in both the NFT space and making sure the new generation of blockchain users appreciate the importance of our environment and its place in all forms of economics.”

Many of the brands they’re looking to engage with are proactive in educational awareness around sustainability and the environment.

“NFT platforms that want to engage with brands need to understand the messaging and themes that brands are wanting to project. Partnerships need to be like-minded,” he says.

Supporting Carbon Neutrality

Chronicle supports carbon neutrality through its use of NEAR Protocol. NEAR proactively supports tree planting projects and recently received South Pole’s Carbon Neutral Product label for the work it is doing; specifically through three flagship, green-friendly projects, Kariba Forest Protection, Vegachi Forest Restoration, and Afognak Forest Carbon.

NEAR Protocol’s blockchain is certified Climate Neutral by South Pole, the leading low-carbon project developer and climate solutions provider, to measure NEAR Protocol’s carbon footprint and meet its climate neutrality commitment.

Why NEAR blockchain?

Glover explains that the reasons for choosing NEAR Protocol were many. Its Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), called Aurora, allows them to use Solidity smart-contract code on their blockchain.

“This meant we could use the same contract code that was designed to be written for Ethereum, without having to rewrite the code for NEAR Protocol,” he explains.

Also, NEAR Protocol is a Proof of Stake (PoS) system, which means less energy dependency.


Read more: Blockchain & crypto this week


“We knew from the beginning NEAR was going to be less energy dependent than other Proof of Work (PoW) blockchains that run on intensive amounts of energy,” he says.

Another reason was that NEAR’s blockchain and fees are significantly faster and cheaper compared to Ethereum.

“In some cases, a single smart contract execution on Ethereum can cost US$50. On NEAR and Aurora, it’s a fraction of a cent. This made economic sense for us,” he adds.

Moreover, NEAR were committed to the environment by being carbon-neutral.

“It was a no-brainer decision for us,” he adds.

Saving the Giant Pandas

Chronicle also announced a partnership with Pandas International. The goal is to help preserve the existing 1,864 giant pandas that are still living around the world and helping to grow that population over time.

Chronicle is creating a digital twin of each of the pandas currently being tracked that will be sold as an NFT. This way the project functions as an opportunity to raise awareness about what’s happening to the giant panda population around the world.

“Sustainability and preserving our environment are core tenets and commitments of Chronicle’s mission. In addition to building a tech solution that is carbon neutral (through our partnership with NEAR), we’re also committed to using our platform to support organisations that are preserving the environment,” Glover says.

Sustainability and preserving our environment are core tenets and commitments of Chronicle’s mission. In addition to building a tech solution that is carbon neutral (through our partnership with NEAR), we’re also committed to using our platform to support organisations that are preserving the environment

It’s also an opportunity for NFT collectors to own a digital asset that is going to make a real impact on the environment and a scarce group of animals that human beings love to observe, and that our planet needs to keep from going extinct.

We identified Pandas International as our launch partner as they are a non-profit organisation focused on ensuring the preservation and propagation of the endangered Giant Panda.

As of the last census, there were 1,864 giant pandas in existence. In keeping with this number, Chronicle is creating a series of 1,864 NFTs to mirror this current population. They’ve released one NFT drop to date with 180 mintings at US$75 each. Glover informs that over the next few months, they’ll release the remaining 1,684 digital twin NFTs of these giant pandas. Proceeds from the NFT sales benefit Pandas International.

The Amazon of Officially Licensed NFTs

Aside from future partnerships, Chronicle has a number of product updates coming in the next few months. This includes a mobile platform (iOS and Android) to make Chronicle accessible from any device. This will make their collectibles more accessible, as Glover says, truly becoming the “Amazon of officially licensed NFTs”.

We’re on a mission to position Chronicle as the world’s #1 officially licensed digital collectibles (NFT) platform for fans of popular culture that requires no crypto knowledge for the user to operate. To do this, we’re making sure that Chronicle is the easiest platform to use and the most eco-friendly

Another offering will be Chronicle’s secondary marketplace, which will allow for fans to trade and engage with others in a fun environment.

“We’re on a mission to position Chronicle as the world’s #1 officially licensed digital collectibles (NFT) platform for fans of popular culture that requires no crypto knowledge for the user to operate. To do this, we’re making sure that Chronicle is the easiest platform to use and the most eco-friendly,” he says.

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