The panel discussion titled “NFTs with Purpose: Creating Positive Impact through Culture & Climate” explores the potential of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to make a difference in society. Mashya, the leader of the NFT initiative at Cello, introduces the panel and shares the background of Solo NFTs, starting from the rise of Cryptokitties in 2017. The exponential growth of the NFT market, valued at over $10.7 billion in just 12 months, highlights the appeal of NFTs as a means of connection and belonging.
While NFTs have brought artists, creators, and collectors together, the panel acknowledges the controversies surrounding the industry. They point out that a small percentage of users account for the majority of transactions, and creators face challenges in terms of a steep learning curve, financial constraints, and managing their communities, which can lead to burnout. Additionally, the environmental impact of NFT transactions on proof-of-work platforms is concerning, with a single transaction consuming as much energy as a U.S. household in over nine days.
Cello NFTs aims to become the NFT platform for the 99 percent by going beyond simple JPEGs and leveraging their global mobile-first infrastructure. With over 2.7 million users across 158 countries, Cello focuses on providing real-world utility through NFTs, including community commerce programs, discount rewards, loyalty programs, and membership access.
Sophia Lee, a journalist specializing in climate sustainability, represents Steward, a web 3 collective that focuses on climate NFT projects. Steward’s goal is to empower artists to own their intellectual property and create a more robust environment for them to prosper.
Andre, from FlowCarbon, discusses the role of tokenization in addressing the specific problem of carbon preservation. FlowCarbon allows individuals to purchase carbon-dense rainforests and other natural assets through tokenized forward contracts, ensuring financial sustainability for preservation projects.
The panelists emphasize the importance of transparency in the NFT space. By tokenizing forward contracts, FlowCarbon ensures recovery guarantees for plastic waste management. Meanwhile, Steward addresses the lack of transparency in waste management and aims to support climate organizations beyond the well-known ones. The panelists also discuss the mental health challenges faced by artists, particularly marginalized groups, and highlight the need for fair compensation and financial support in the industry.
The panelists share their reasons for choosing to build on the Cello ecosystem. They emphasize Cello’s vibrant and mission-driven community and the platform’s commitment to carbon neutrality and transparency. By incentivizing traceability and measurement of impact, they believe individuals can take action against climate change.
The panel concludes with advice for builders looking to enter the climate and culture spaces. Suggestions include integrating positive climate action into building models, promoting sustainable consumption, and empowering creators to regain ownership of their work. The panelists express the need for collective efforts, wise resource management, and redefining wealth to prioritize climate abatement.