Tag Archives: NFT

Impact of cryptocurrencies on Environment

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Last year new trend in e-conomy called NFTs made it to the headlines and quickly started picking up popularity. Poland was no exception with various Celebrities and Influencers like Magda Gessler or Krzysztof Gonciarz presenting to their followers their NFTs. This spurred controversies, as some of those celebrities often engaging in pro-environment initiatives (like it is the case with Gonciarz) support the trend which is definitely not the most eco-firendly. Before I explain, how NFTs impact environment, let’s define what they actually are and how they work.

Gonciarz’s NFT profile picture

NFT (non-fungible token) is a customized virtual token which is acquired with cryptocurrencies, in most cases with Ethereum. NFTs very often take a form of a pixelized image for example a fictional Ape. To acquire one you need to buy it from an artist and in return you get a certificate confirming that you purchased it, but you are not the owner of the picture though. The fact that you have purchased a NFT is confirmed and by the blockchain technology.

To ensure that transaction with cryptocurrencies are safe and are executed properly, the data about buyer and seller are encrypted into a complex mathematical equation and placed in a dispersed network of users. Data about transactions, when they took place and how much they were worth is sorted in so called blocks. As blocks are constantly updated with new transactions new blocks are connected with the old ones hence the name blockchain. To simplify, every user can look at details behind the transaction at any time.  Solving the equation provides you with a reward. This procedure, dubbed by the community ‘mining’, requires a lot of computing power, which means that it requires a lot of energy.

Mining, which is the source of cryptocurrencies entering the market, is the reason, why the demand on GPUs is very high recently. Mining is also cause of serious ecological concerns. When we sum up all miners in the world, their equipment uses amounts of energy which can be considered enourmous – for example amount of energy Bitcoin minining uses can be compared to energy used by all inhabitants of a highly developed countries like Sweden. If the way mining works won’t be changed, then it will use up more and more energy, due to cryptocurrencies and NFTs becoming more popular. It is also worth mentioning that despite most of miners using renewable energy sources, still most (61%) of the energy reaches mining computers thanks to non-renewable spurces of energy like burning fossil fuels. Significant amount of mining takes place in China or Russia, where energy is very cheap but mostly comes from non-renewable sources. NFTs, due to relying on cryptocurrencies, is part of this process which results in draining lots of energy, while it also accounts to CO2 emissions which humanity needs to reduce in order to fight the Global Warming.

Plik:Ethereum-icon-purple.svg
Ethereum’s logo

Is it possible for the cryptocurrencies to be more eco-friendly and consume less energy? Yes, some of the cryptocurrencies are using up many times less energy than the most popular Bitcoin and Ethereum. Ethereum is also planning to change the way the currency is being mined in order to cut down their emission by as much as 99%. After all, while cryptocurrencies at the moment are bad for environment, there is huge chance that it may not be the case in near future.

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AI-painter Botto made his first million dollars

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A compelling argument for a decentralized approach when using artificial intelligence systems for creative purposes. And also an attractive business – numerous project participants had the opportunity to make good money in the future. Botto generates thousands of images, but only the community of people supporting the project decides in which direction the “creator” should work and which works will go to the auction. Only owners of Botto cryptocurrency can vote.

Botto', the robot creating works of art, makes its first million at auction  | Euronews
Seaport subject

Every week, Botto presents fifty art pieces to the community, who then vote on their favorite artwork

Botto | Decentralized Autonomous Artist
Poetic Decay

How Botto creates art?

Botto’s work begins by generating a line describing a new painting, a kind of technical task. The text is transmitted to the VQGAN neural network, which recognizes it and matches image fragments to words, and then combines them into one picture. It is sent for verification to another CLIP neural network, which determines the correspondence of the image to the words, makes corrections and sends everything back to VQGAN for revision.

When CLIP is satisfied with the result, Botto uses the GPT-3 natural language generator to create a poetic description of the painting. After that, the finished painting is sent to the evaluation of human critics – 300 different images per day. Based on the voting results, a certain number of works are selected, which receive an NFT token and are put up for auction.

Dirty Shift

How it’s work?

Botto’s philosophy of work is built in such a way that he constantly challenges critics while improving his skills. To be able to “compete” with AI, you need to pay for participation in a special cryptocurrency created exclusively for this project. The money that comes from the sale of paintings is used to buy it out and “dispose of”, so the amount of cryptocurrency is constantly decreasing, and the value is growing. And it gives members the opportunity to make money by selling their inventory, which weeds out random people.

Blast Woof

Criticism

As for me, it is not correct that they are engaged in artificially raising the prices of their coins. They burn part of their coins so that the price of the remaining ones would rise and over time a kind of deficiency was formed.

While the robot is only learning, then its actions are based only on the information received and interpreted in its own way over time it will be able to come up with something of its own, but still there will be no soul in it and most importantly it will be without UNIQUE HISTORY.

Ending

In the end, I would like to recommend visiting his official website and be sure to go to the gallery to view all the paintings. (https://app.botto.com/) Also I recommend to read his Manifesto (https://botto.com/Unicist_Manifesto.pdf)

Will the machine be able to create as a person in the future? And can it be considered art?

Sources

https://www.techcult.ru/technology/10358-ii-hudozhnik-botto-zarabotal-svoj-pervyj-million-dollarov https://3dnews.ru/1054804/iihudognik-botto-zarabotal-perviy-million-dollarov-na-nftkartinah https://newatlas.com/collectibles/botto-ai-art/ https://forklog.com/ii-hudozhnik-botto-zarabotal-bolee-1-mln-na-prodazhe-nft/ https://app.botto.com/

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