More than one in 30 French people have already bought NFTs, according to a recent Ifop survey for Cointribune. And among 1824-year-olds, one in two people have heard of NFT. If today these three small consonants are on everyone’s lips, many enthusiasts and newbies are not aware of certain bricks in the history of NFT. Let’s go back to five of them.
1 / It all started … with cats!
If forms of NFT began to circulate … already in 2014, it is thanks to the CryptoKitties phenomenon that Non-fungible token (NFT) are growing massively. This game launched in December 2017 proposes to collect unique cats on the blockchain and mate them to create new little cats, then inheriting the characteristics of their parents. Any animal can be sold or traded there in exchange for Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain.
In May 2018, one of these virtual cats was even bought at auction for $ 140,000 by Igor Barinov, a Russian politician.
2 / Rapper Booba was the first French artist to democratize NFT in the music industry
In 2021, the artist Booba, very busy a the cryptocurrency industry, has put on sale five digital cards that give access to his latest title: “TN”. Each virtual object was published in 5,000 copies, for a total of 25,000 NFTs. Anyone in possession of at least one digital token had exclusive access, from 8 November 2021 to 18:00, to the song “TN” as well as to the clip of the song. On November 6, on his Twitter account, the French rapper announced that all 25,000 NFTs had been sold, two days before the sale ended. Each digital card was sold at a price of 0.006 Ether (ETH), equal to a turnover of 150 ETH (564,000 euros at the current price).
3 / A slice of NFT pizza sold for $ 8,824
Every everyday object can be dematerialized in the form of an NFT, even a slice of pizza! In March 2021, the American fast food chain Pizza Hut decided to invest in the Rarible platform by marketing digital pizza slices with the aim of promoting four of its new pizzas. And the least we can say is that they have been snapped up! Initially sold for 0.0001 ETH, or around 18 cents, one of the shares was quickly put back on the market for 5 ETH, or $ 8,824.07.
4 / In October 2022, Paris opened its first center dedicated to NFTs
Located just opposite the Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture in the heart of Paris, the NFT Factory covers nearly 400m2 of the French NFT ecosystem. Art Gallery, an educational workshop that allows people to buy NFT, a networking space for industry professionals, this venue also offers events such as cryptoart roundtables, debates on regulation and entrepreneurship, and even a “Crypto Comedy Club”. The goal: to create emulation in this emerging market. “With global cultural actors, video games and the luxury industry, France has all it takes to become a European and global NFT platform. We must accompany this movement with the support of public money, within the framework of France 2030“, Explained the Delegate Minister for Digital Transition JeanNoël Barrot during the inauguration of the NFT Factory in October 2022.
5 / The energy consumption of a single NFT would be 340 kWh, which is the monthly electricity consumption of a European citizen
To understand why NFTs pollute, we need to go up the “chain”. When you decide to create an NFT, be it a text, a graphic creation or even a video, you will first use digital creation tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator for example. Once the media has been created, it will have to be hosted in a decentralized and dematerialized way on the web and, finally, perform a smart contract (contract that relies on Blockchain technology to make their terms and conditions of their executions tamper-proof) to be able to implement it on a blockchain like Ethereum or Solana.
It is through this type of platform that your NFT can then be marketed through the use of cryptocurrencies, a virtual currency that has a strong environmental impact. Producing a Bitcoin requires the use of very powerful and above all very energy-hungry computers. According to a study published by the University of Cambridge, the ecosystem of Bitcoin it would represent 127 TWh year over year, more than the consumption of Norway or Argentina.
Added to this is the NFT technology itself. In fact, even the servers used to host the works, as well as the technologies needed for the auctions, have a heavy impact that is still difficult to accurately estimate. According to the artist and engineer Memo Akten, the energy consumption of a single NFT would be 340 kWh, which is the monthly electricity consumption of a European citizen.