03/07/2022

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Ubisoft Quartz introduces ‘energy-efficient NFTs’ this week

An inevitability is coming to pass, as Ubisoft becomes one of the first AAA publishers to jump into the NFT waters.

The infusion of NFTs into video games has felt like an inevitability a long time. It was just a matter of which gaming publisher was going to be the first to go that extra mile and start injecting non-fungible tokens into mainstream games. If you guessed the next publisher to make headlines in this realm would be Ubisoft, collect your prize. On Tuesday, the publisher announced the launch of Ubisoft Quartz, which will deal with “energy-efficient NFTs,” starting with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Some might be wondering, “Wait, how can NFTs be energy-efficient?” That’s a very good question to be asking. Let’s see what the Ubisoft Quartz website has to say on the matter.

Digits are the first Ubisoft NFTs, playable in a HD game and stored on the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain Tezos. Compared to the Proof-of-Work protocol used with Bitcoin, the PoS protocol offers a more advanced and environmentally sustainable alternative. PoS blockchains work on a consensus mechanism that does not rely on complex computational efforts to validate transactions and therefore does not incentivize extreme amounts of energy consumption. For illustration purpose, one transaction on the Tezos blockchain consumes as much as streaming a video for 30 seconds.

That seems slightly vague, so let’s dive in further by looking at the Ubisoft Quartz FAQ:

At Ubisoft we have been exploring blockchain technology for a number of years and the environmental impact of its early form has been one of the first limitations we identified. This observation led us to explore more advanced, energy-efficient alternatives, based on the Proof-of-Stake protocol, notably the one developed by Tezos, which powers the blockchain that Ubisoft Quartz relies on. Contrary to other blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are based on Proof-of-Work protocol, Tezos needs significantly less energy to operate. As an example, one transaction on Tezos consumes as much energy as 30 seconds of video streaming while a transaction on Bitcoin consumes the equivalent of one year of video streaming.

Whether the Tezos blockchain proves to be environmentally friendly over the long run remains to be seen, but Ubisoft appears fairly confident that it will. Because of that confidence, it looks like the publisher is ready to jump into offering NFTs for AAA games. The first of these games is Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which is a game that could probably use a boost anyway. Breakpoint NFTs will be offered as part of the Ubisoft Quartz beta, which will launch this Thursday, December 9.

This appears to be just the beginning for Ubisoft and its NFT aspirations. We’ll be watching Ubisoft Quartz, as well as its impact on any future Ubisoft releases, in the months ahead. Keep it on Shacknews for the latest updates.