Ethereum-Based CryptoTrunks Eco-NFT Project Temporarily Halts NFT Minting Among Environmental Concerns

CryptoTrunks has had to temporarily halt its budding growth after soaring gas fees on Ethereum forced it to reconsider its carbon footprint.

The Production Grinds to a Halt

CryptoTrunks is designed to raise individuals’ awareness of their environmental impact. By connecting a crypto wallet to the CryptoTrunks website, an individual is able to request an algorithmically generated CryptoTrunk, and then choose to have the image minted as an NFT. The size of the tree that is generated reflects the carbon footprint of the user, with more active wallets producing larger trees.

While CryptoTrunks raises a serious issue, it doesn’t do so in a preachy or holier-than-thou manner. In fact, the project retains a pronounced sense of humour about its activism. In colourful language on the CryptoTrunks website the project explains the concept thusly:

“We look at your transaction history to calculate just how much you’ve f****d up the environment. The size of your trunk is representative of how much damage you’ve done, so you can display to future generations how badly you’ve screwed them over.”


Launched on May 21st, CryptoTrunks now has a small, but dedicated community of followers. The popularity of the growing NFT platform is reflected in the number of trees which have already been minted, standing at 8,889 at time of press. To mint trees comes with its own cost however, and since CryptoTrunks is based on Ethereum, that cost comes in gas fees.

The obvious question is whether by raising awareness CryptoTrunks is part of the solution, or whether it is part of the problem by increasing the number of transactions on Ethereum. In the short term CryptoTrunks took the position that it was becoming part of the problem.

In a recent interview the pseudonymous developer of CryptoTrunks told Decrypt:

“Tens of dollars for the network cost of some free art is cool, hundreds of dollars is bonkers. Better to pause and wait for things to cool off.”

Fellow founder Reuben expanded:

“Tongue-in-cheek as the project is, we are still very mindful of our carbon footprint.”

Following the pause in services the price of gas has fallen and CryptoTrunks has resumed normal service. Having set the precedent however, users may wonder whether CryptoTrunks may yet have to suspend the project every time the price of gas spikes. 

Gas Prices

The cost of gas continues to be a major issue for the entire Ethereum ecosystem, but one which has a much-discussed solution in the form of ETH 2.0. The project is ambitious in the extreme, and is being built by multiple teams across the ecosystem. At the most basic level Ethereum 2.0 is the transfer of the network from Proof-of-Work consensus to Proof-of-Stake with huge benefits for efficiency and scalability.

Much like its founder Vitalik Buterin however, Ethereum is never knowingly simple when it can be complex. The complications of delivering Ethereum’s PoS mechanism and the many other features of Ethereum 2.0 has seen the upgrade take a long road from initial concept to reality. Should Ethereum 2.0 ever become a reality, the problem of gas prices will then be resolved.

Final Thoughts

The CryptoTrunks project has certainly done itself no harm with its recent suspension of activities. Having secured itself some free publicity in the form of press interest and coverage it will be interesting to note whether the project halts every time the gas price spikes.

The concerns surrounding Ethereum’s gas prices are valid. While some hope for the Ethereum network to finally deliver on the promise of ETH 2.0, other users have already migrated the bulk of their business to other chains such as the Binance Smart Chain.

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