Updated on March 9: Soon after we published this article, ArtStation cancelled the launch, issuing a statement saying, "In light of the critical reception on social media regarding NFTs, it’s clear that now is not the right time for NFTs on ArtStation."
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have taken the digital art world by storm. Believe it or not, it's not just Twitter CEO?Jack Dorsey is selling his first tweet. Canadian musician Grimes made headlines last week for earning millions off NFTs, and soon after that, the original Nyan Cat was sold as an NFT.
This?trend hasn't gone unnoticed, which is why ArtStation seems to be the first big online art-sharing platform to hop onto the hype train.
ArtStation Gets In on NFT Craze
As discussions of cryptocurrency and crypto art continue to pepper the internet, ArtStation Magazine has announced the launch of the initial proof of concept of the ArtStation NFT art platform.
If you buy art on ArtStation's NFT platform, you'll be granted secure access to the original files for the pieces, as well as rights to display the exhibition quality prints for personal use.
The platform's "first exclusive art collection drop" will be on March 10 at 9pm PST, with new drops every six hours after the reveal during the launch event. Here is the list of artists confirmed to be taking part in the launch:
- Nicolas Bouvier?(Sparth), Halo art director
- Craig Mullins, painter
- Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera,?Emmy Award winners
- Raphael Lacoste,?Assassin’s Creed franchise art director
- Jakub Rozalski,?Scythe?concept artist
- Nicole Stott,?former NASA astronaut
- Donglu Yu,?Ubisoft concept artist
- Grace Liu,?Monomi Park art director
- Alena Aenami,?Wizards of the Coast illustrator
The ArtStation Community’s Response and the Ecological Cost of Crypto Art
ArtStation's NFT art platform announcement was not at all warmly received. It's easy to see why, given that most NFTs?are part of the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, and ETH transactions don't skimp on their energy usage.
Researcher Memo Atken?pointed out that?a single ETH transaction is estimated to have a footprint on average of around 35 kilowatt-hours. That's roughly equivalent to a European resident’s electric power consumption for four days.
And so, the most liked replies to ArtStation's initial tweet are?negative responses: users booing, sending angry/upset/disappointed reaction GIFs, and even claiming that they'll cancel their?Artstation Pro subscription.
In response, ArtStation added the following statements?to create a Twitter thread:
We are very aware and understand the environmental concern associated with the minting of NFTs and ArtStation is pledging that our NFT project will be climate positive.?As part of our commitment to keeping this platform climate positive, ArtStation is contributing to offset the carbon footprint costs of any given piece of digital art transacted on the platform.
ArtStation also added that artists that sell on the platform "must allocate a scaling percentage of their NFT Art proceeds to carbon offsets." For more information, you can read the FAQ page.
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