Since the real animals are dying, why not?
A bunch of animals are going extinct — but don't worry, you can buy NFTs of them!
The World Wildlife Foundation UK is rolling out a "non-fungible animals" project to sell NFTs of endangered species and raises funds for the conservationist group.
Critics were quick to point out the hypocrisy of purported conservationists using technology as environmentally destructive as cryptocurrencies, the Climate Home News blog reports. Ruining the environment, after all, will presumably only make things worse for endangered animals.
To be fair, though, the "NFA" project is built on the eco-friendly Polygon blockchain. The WWF-UK claims the platform's carbon footprint is equivalent to the emissions from a pint of tap water.
Not everyone's convinced, though.
"Polygon registers transactions on Ethereum, a PoW (proof of work) blockchain which has a carbon footprint the size of Sweden’s," Pete Howson, a senior lecturer at the University of Northumbria, told Euronews Green.
— Greenpeace EU (@GreenpeaceEU) February 2, 2022
Going, Going, Gone
Worse yet, the organization is trying to draw a parallel between how few animals are left of a given endangered species with the rarity of its NFAs.
On the project's site, the WWF-UK notes that "just like NFTs, NFAs are limited because their species only exist in limited numbers." As such, the number of animal NFTs being sold corresponds to the number of animals left in the wild for each given species highlighted in the project.
There might, however, be a silver lining to the WWF-UK's "NFA" project: a portion of the funds, even when resold, will go back to the charity.
But then again, is the WWF-UK really to be trusted with the funds? In 2019, BuzzFeed News revealed that the WWF was funding anti-poaching paramilitary forces, which have had a less than stellar track record when it comes to human rights abuses.
At the end of the day, anyone who buys a WWF "NFA" thinking they're saving the planet should think twice — or, perhaps, they're just looking to find another way to buy a rare Ape.
READ MORE: You Can Now Buy 'Non-Fungible Animals,' And I Hate It [Gizmodo]