Twitter has provided a verification option for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, used as profile pictures. The social media platform has been the first of its kind to give NFT owners the option to verify their NFT ownership via crypto wallets.
The verification option is only available on Twitter Blue, a paid version of the platform. Twitter Blue costs $2.99 a month. This shouldn’t be a problem considering how an NFT can cost several thousand to millions of dollars. NFT owners can link their crypto wallets to their Twitter Blue accounts and select an NFT in their collection as their profile picture. The NFT, once verified will be displayed in a soft hexagonal frame in place of the familiar round frame.
But what’s the specialty of the soft hexagonal frame? People could upload their NFTs to their profile pictures just fine before this launch. The difference is verification. It is impossible to right-click and save a verified NFT. When one clicks on an NFT profile picture, they are redirected to see further information about said NFT. The option to save the picture is absent.
The new twitter launch is not without criticism from crypto-fans. NFTs can be verified using 6 selected crypto wallets. Many NFT owners aren’t able to verify their ownings because of this. But there is a fair chance twitter will expand their roots in the world of cryptocurrency.
NFT profile pictures have critics as much as fans. A prevailing criticism that NFTs have is their ability to be screenshotted and reposted. The counterargument to this is yes, they can be screenshotted, but just like how you taking a picture of the Starry Night by Vincent van Gough won’t decrease the value of the painting, the value of an NFT doesn’t decrease with screenshots. You wouldn’t be able to sell the screenshot even if the mint is worth millions of dollars. NFTs are stored in blocks. A block is validated and the validated information is finally recorded into the blockchain. But the motive behind screenshotting and posting it is more to do with mocking the entire idea of what an NFT is, not financial gain.
NFTs do have a significant environmental impact. An average NFT has a carbon footprint of 1-2 months of electricity usage of a house in the EU. Though there is debate on if NFTs actually are responsible for the carbon footprint. They could just be receiving the blame for the carbon footprint produced by Ethereum. Either way there is a real environmental impact.
Some proposed methods to reduce this carbon footprint are, using cleaner energy or building another ‘layer’ on top of the existing blockchain so users can create a temporary channel for their interactions and settle up the net result back into the blockchain after the interaction has ended.
NFTs also result in a significant amount of electronic waste. Having a computer with more and more processing power can help a user in trading NFTs or creating a block for a blockchain, which ushers users to upgrade their hardware more and more often. On average a single transaction can produce 272g of electronic waste. Producing up to 30,000 metric tons of e-waste per year. This can be concerning because only 17% of electronics discarded are recycled per year,.
NFTs and their popularity is attracting more and more users to start mining bitcoins, collecting NFTs etc. But it is advancing in a manner that cannot be handled. The exponential need for energy and electronic devices could capsize accessibility of resources such as electronics and fuel to people in underdeveloped nations. So we must advance with caution.
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