YG slammed for entering cryptocurrency, NFT industry: 'It doesn't make sense'

The K-pop label is planning on selling their artists' content as NFTs which has a huge carbon footprint


                            YG slammed for entering cryptocurrency, NFT industry: 'It doesn't make sense'
YG's artists like Winner's Mino, Blackpink and Treasure have often promoted sustainability (@yg_ent_official/Instagram)
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With the rest of the world dipping their toes in cryptocurrency, bitcoins and NFTs, we also have K-pop companies trying to invest and profit off it. One of the first announcements was received with much backlash as HYBE used BTS to promote NFT. Mamamoo’s label RBW prides itself in the IP business and acquired KARD’s label, DSP through NFTs. A.C.E has converted their content into NFTs. And now Blackpink and iKON’s company, YG Entertainment has decided to venture into NFT-based projects. But they are being called out for their hypocrisy as they have often declared themselves as eco-friendly.

With the K-pop industry’s carbon footprint rapidly increasing every year thanks to mass-producing physical albums and merch, YG took an environment-friendly decision in December 2021. They shared that going forward they would have eco-friendly packaging for upcoming releases like that of Winner’s Mino, Treasure and Blackpink. Apart from the CD, YG will minimize plastic and use biodegradable material to produce the albums.

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YG teams up with crypto platform Binance

Their group, Blackpink was also selected as an advocate for UN’s latest project Sustainable Development Goals. They spoke at the 26th Climate Change Conference to spread awareness and encourage improving the environment. This is why fans are angry with YG’s latest decision. The K-pop label is partnering with Binance which is a blockchain ecosystem for digital asset exchange. Binance will act as the platform while YG will provide its artists’ content that can be owned by fans through NFTs.

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NFTs are a digital receipt for a digital product purchased with cryptocurrency. There are two major problems regarding NFTs which is why a majority aren’t backing up this new form of cryptocurrency. A lot of research claims that a single NFT transaction produces approximately 34 kgs of carbon dioxide. Their carbon footprint happens to be more than what a country as large as Denmark produces in one year. Production of physical products does cause a toll on the environment but relatively uses less electricity and energy than cryptocurrencies.

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NFTs also come under an ethically grey area with many fans calling it a theft since the consumer can purchase and own a replica of the artist’s product which infringes on their artistic license and ownership. The red flags are already popping up as recently HitPiece was slammed for selling music by allegedly taking them from Spotify without taking the original artist’s permission. They were selling music as NFTs from artists like BTS, Blackpink, DJ Snake and more.

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'It doesn't make sense'

Angry fans made tweets like, “You know how bad it is for our environment? You're saying about protecting our planet and you're doing this????” Another posted, “Eco-friendly albums + having your artists promote climate change and now we're having this.” One fan commented, “All those announcements from blackpink and iKON members about the environment were perfect to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of out planet, and now you come with this partnership? it doesn’t make sense.” 

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Another pointed out, “People should note that companies are in it for profits. Affirmative action and social or environmental issues are really for the looks and idols hardly participate in things they believe in, there's a difference between reading a script/staged concern. We can't be this gullible.” One fan added, “Bp are the ambassadors of climate change... mino started the whole eco-friendly album thing and trsr are following... you have solar panels to save money on electricity... and now you want nfts? yg what goes on through your head.” Another was sarcastic, “So much for an environmental print. Why don't you try rebranding the eco part of your discourse as: we use eco-friendly materials in our albums to cover up for the co2 impact we will produce with crypto currency and NFT's.”

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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