So, why didn’t I just create NFTs for this project?
First, I am an environmentalist. According to one estimate, the creation of a single NFT, on average, produces as much greenhouse gas as a 500-mile trip in a typical American gasoline-powered car. The reason is that they’re built on blockchain technology, which involves computers constantly trying to solve complex problems. Researchers at Cambridge University have estimated that Bitcoin mining alone, not even counting NFTs, uses more electricity than entire countries like Argentina, Sweden or Pakistan. (Source: New York Times) There are efforts underway to make NFTs more climate-friendly by switching to a different kind of blockchain, but this is not yet overwhelmingly in use and the blockchain continues to use a ridiculously large amount of energy that is carbon-producing.
Second, crypto is exclusive. In order to buy a traditional NFT, you must have a crypto wallet and pay in crypto. Most people don’t have crypto wallets. I wanted my NFTs to be available to everyone, even those without crypto.
Third, traditional NFTs are often expensive and have wildly fluctuating future value. My NFTs are very reasonably priced and will never have any monetary value! The value you get from my NFTs consists of discounts on merchandise, maybe a free sticker and the joy of watching the NFT turn into a real life hug. Plus, you get to watch the whole project unfold over time.
Fourth, I built custom functionality to make the project work. Using a traditional NFT platform would’ve made it more difficult to track this project over time.
Fifth, I’m all about the humans. As someone who has worked with/in technology for 20 years, I understand the value of pulling back from technology and savoring an analog experience. Time spent on our computers needs to be balanced with time spend around other humans. That’s why this project is only half technology and half IRL interactions.
This project is my attempt at a unique compromise between technology and real world experience.