crypto strategy

A major green upgrade is coming to NFTs – here’s what brands need to know

Marketers’ favorite blockchain is about to become 2,000 times more desirable. Indeed, an imminent upgrade to Ethereum – the home of over 80% of all NFT – will reduce network power consumption by 99.95%, making the chain about 2,000 times more sustainable, experts say. .

This multi-day upgrade, scheduled for September 13-15, is called “The Merge”, a reference to the result that will unite the main Ethereum blockchain with a separate chain, the Beacon chain, which tested the new, eco-friendly infrastructure for over a year and a half. Once merged with the Beacon chain, Ethereum will adopt this infrastructure, called proof-of-stake, as its own.

For brands, this upgrade not only alleviates a serious concern about NFTs and sustainability, but it can also provide opportunities to onboard more consumers into the Web3 space.

Since emerging into the public spotlight last year, NFTs have been controversial, not least because of their reliance on the power-hungry Ethereum framework. The production of an NFT has been reported to emit as much carbon like a car that travels 500 miles. Since most brands’ collections contain hundreds or even thousands of tokens, the cumulative impact can be devastating to the already beleaguered environment.

After The Merge, however, this impact will become negligible, causing NFT to emit carbon closer to that of 20 minutes of television than a road trip across the country. Brands such as Gap and Blockchain Creative Labs have expressed increased interest in Ethereum as a direct result of The Merge.

“[There’s] this really big apprehension around the eco-friendliness of crypto and Web3, and I think because The Merge will allow [the network] to be a lot less power-hungry, it will be an answer to that question,” said Julian Alexander, Web3 Senior Strategist and Metaverse at R/GA Agency.

Yet simply executing The Merge does not guarantee brands success. Ineffective marketing will do little to convince consumers that things have changed, especially younger generations who are more likely to value sustainability.

There are also still serious flaws in Ethereum that could deter brands from using the network. High transaction fees and low throughput (transactions per second) can tempt brands to purchase one of many competing chains on the market, from UX-enabled Solana to Dapper Labs’ highly scalable Flow.

How to Market The Merge

The Ethereum upgrade offers brands the opportunity to attract dozens of new consumers who are skeptical about the environmental impact of Web3. But this advantage is only as useful as the marketing used to explain the changes.

“The big challenge is going to be pushing the narrative,” said Ty Duperron, product manager at software company Daz 3D. “Until that happens, it doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong.

Pushing a new narrative, especially when it conflicts with the prevailing public perception, can only be achieved through proper education.

ConsenSys, a blockchain technology company, is trying to educate through a campaign that will feature influencers, subject matter experts, and NFTs. The effort is anchored by a interactive website which explains the upgrade and its three main areas of improvement: durability, security, and scalability. (The proof-of-stake model is considered more secure because it eases the barriers to becoming a network steward, thereby increasing decentralization. And while The Merge doesn’t immediately improve scalability, it does open the door to such upgrades in the future. .)

“We really want to help demystify some of the technical advancements and help people understand the underlying meaning of this change,” said Neal Gorevic, chief marketing officer of ConsenSys.

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