The Crypto Organization Names New Species Of Glass Frogs – Here’s Why It’s Worrying

A pair of new species of glass frogs – transparent-bellied amphibians that expose all their internal organs – have been discovered in Ecuador. But the naming of one of the species sparked controversy.

One of the new species was, Names in hyalinobatrachium, is lime green above and clear as window glass below; it is named after the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) of Nouns, a group that buys and sells non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with cryptocurrency. The Nouns DAO gained the right to name the frog species after donating (in traditional cash) to the non-profit environmental organization Rainforest Trust. But because the cryptocurrency is carbon-intensive, some conservationists aren’t happy with the association.

“When charities get involved in crypto projects, they legitimize them – they legitimize an entire ecosystem that has a very high environmental impact,” said Peter Howson, a researcher from Northumbria University in the UK who studies environmental technologies. popular science.

The little frogs at the center of the controversy were discovered in 2019. They have protruding eyes and are almost cute, with an eye-catching pattern on their lime green backs with light yellow spots. The two new species look nearly identical and look a lot like each other Hyalinobatrachium glass frogs. In fact, researchers led by Juan Manuel Guayasamin, a biologist at San Francisco University in Quito, Ecuador, had to use genetic sequencing to find that the frogs were unique species.

H. names and the other newly described frog, now known as H.mashpi, live in the Ecuadorian Andes. They were quite genetically distinct despite being found just 11.7 miles (18.9 kilometers) apart, the researchers reported March 18 in the journal. PeerJ. The species were separated by the Intag-Guayllabamba river valley. Numerous river valleys run through the Ecuadorian Andes, the researchers wrote, leading to a high diversity of amphibians in the region as populations cut off from each other and diverge in different evolutionary pathways. Of the 1,120 amphibian species reported in the Andes, about 70% are either endemic or found nowhere else on the Earthwrote the researchers.

Glass frogs are known for their passionate parenting style, which is unusual for amphibians. The females will stay on their eggs while the males fertilize them, thus protecting the brood. In some species, the fathers then take over, staying with the eggs as they develop, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

The Noun DAO is a group of people who pool their crypto assets, voting on what to spend them on. Named NFTs are primarily purchased with the Ethereum cryptocurrency. One of the Noun DAO members is also a board member of the Rainforest Trust, Popular Science reported.

The controversy stems from the fact that cryptocurrencies derive their value from a process called “proof of work,” in which computers compete with each other to solve mathematical puzzles. This is extremely carbon intensive, as it involves large amounts of computing power. James Deutsch, CEO of Rainforest Trust, said the organization‘s leadership does not want to be seen as promoting cryptocurrencies and is concerned about the impacts of cryptocurrencies.

“I’m impressed that this group of very energetic, creative, wealthy people took the concept of NFT art and used it specifically for charitable purposes,” Deutsch told Popular Science. “But having said all that, it still wouldn’t justify buying something that was inherently destructive.”

Originally posted on Live Science

Comments are closed.