It seems that every week, a company announces a blockchain initiative. Unfortunately, as blockchains are so new, many people are unaware of the environmental impact behind this digital data. Chris Bratt of People Make Games has called out Ubisoft due to its silence on this environmental impact.
First, let’s quickly go over what blockchains and NFTs are. To put it simply, a blockchain is just a collection of data. This data isn’t owned by one single person, and new data can be added to the chain. NFTs are part of this blockchain. An NFT is an individual segment of data that is unique.
The problem is, blockchains take a lot of energy. It’s estimated that about 61% of the energy used to mine cryptocurrency comes from nonrenewable resources. You may be asking, how does this relate to Ubisoft? The issue comes from the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab, a program meant to fund startups. Out of the 25 successful applications, 12 of them deal with blockchains.
One particular game that raises questions about environmental impact is OneShot League. This is basically a fantasy sports game where users trade playing cards of athletes for cryptocurrency. It may sound small, but one Cristiano Ronaldo card sold for almost $300k.
OneShot League deals with the cryptocurrency Ether. Just one Ether transaction produces 18 kilograms of carbon emissions. As of this writing, there have been around 673,000 transactions of the currency. The emissions from all these transactions equal a round-trip flight from London to New York about 12,000 times.
Chris Bratt interviewed Nicolas Julia of Sorare as well. Sorare partnered with Ubisoft to create OneShot League. In the interview, Julia seemed to avoid all the questions related to the environmental impact of blockchain. Many questions were answered with, “we are looking into that.”
What does Ubisoft have to say about this though? Chris Bratt also had the opportunity to speak with Ubisoft’s blockchain initiative director. The two exchanged a friendly greeting, however when asked questions about carbon emissions and impact, the director did not reply. This silence is extended to Ubisoft websites, where there is no information on blockchain’s impact on the environment.
You can check out the full video on People Make Games’ YouTube channel, and head over to Chris Bratt’s Twitter for more information on the topic.
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