“It’s really a big boom and prices have gone crazy. But it can’t go on like this, ”said Lemercier. “So there is a feeling that there is very little time to make as much money as possible. Therefore, many reject these effects on energy. “

The precipitation has spread. Last month, the art app ArtStation canceled a drop of NFTs from a group of popular artists a few hours after its announcement after a backlash on its environmental impact formed.

“It is clear that now is not the time,” said ArtStation. “We hope that at some point in the future we can find a solution that is fair and ecologically sound.”

The environmental concerns were pushed back. In a recent article on Medium titled “No, CryptoArtists Do Not Harm the Planet,” the NFT trading platform Super Rare addressed misconceptions about the token emissions footprint. Blockchains like Ethereum were more like a train that runs all day, the authors said, and the transactions were like seats on the train. NFTs therefore do not add any emissions the way a train would go on regardless of how many passengers were on board.

However, Alex de Vries, a Dutch data scientist whose website Digiconomist tracks the sustainability of digital currencies, said the analogy does not hold up. “If a person doesn’t take a plane, it may not make a difference,” said de Vries, using a slightly different analogy. “But when a whole lot of people take planes, there are more emissions when flying.”

The promise of some platforms to invest in carbon offset payments was greeted with skepticism given the huge carbon footprint of NFTs.

Say, “Don’t worry! We pay for carbon offsets ”is the equivalent of lighting a house and placing a single potted plant on the burned property as“ compensation, ”freelance illustrator Bleached Rainbows said on Twitter.