Australian flag carrier Qantas is set to venture into the controversial world of cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). 

The airline announced on March 21, 2022 that it plans to release its own series of branded digital art collectibles in the middle of 2022.

In what seems to be an animated teaser tweet, Qantas enticed its customers to try a ‘new way to own a piece of Qantas history.’

“We’re looking to the future for our next collection of memorabilia. A new set of digital art collectables is gearing up for release as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).  Using blockchain technology, each piece of digital artwork will be one-of-a-kind allowing you to buy, own, collect and sell your unique tokens,” Qantas further explains on its NFT promotions page.

While cryptocurrency has gained popularity over the last couple of years, it has also gained notoriety for its environmental impact due to energy-intensive activities used for each transaction and for “mining” new coins. It is estimated that each Bitcoin transaction uses around 2100 kilowatt hours (kWh), which is roughly what an average US household consumes in 75 days. When this energy is supplied from non-renewable energy sources, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can generate exorbitant greenhouse gas emissions. (source: Fairplanet)

Online, several public citizens have expressed disappointment at the airline for its decision, especially as Qantas had signed major deals for ongoing sustainable aviation fuel for flights out of London, Los Angeles, and San Francisco during the past few months. 

In November 2021, air Baltic became the world’s first airline to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The airline issued limited collector NFTs, showcasing an individual Airbus A220-300 with its registration as well as a piece of art of Kuldīga, one of the most beloved Latvian cities.

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