Salesforce is among the latest companies trying to buy into the NFT (non-fungible token) craze, but many of its employees are protesting the move, creating a roadblock the company didn’t expect. Around 400 employees signed an open letter criticizing the technology as problematic and unstable, citing the negative environmental effects of NFTs, which can consume hundreds of kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy in every transaction.
The criticism quickly followed an announcement by Salesforce co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor, in which they stated the company’s plans to launch an “NFT Cloud” platform where artists can create and sell digital art.
The letter highlights the employee’s concerns about the unregulated and risky marketplace where NFTs are traded as “highly-speculative financial assets.” In this unregulated market, NFTs are prone to fraud, and new scams targeting novices are popping up every day. Concerned Salesforce staff are worried that any NFT cloud would invite more fraudsters. Also, the environmental concerns seem to be in direct conflict with the company’s stated sustainability goals, which include net-zero carbon emissions. It remains to be seen whether Salesforce is willing to lose some of its staff, and possibly its reputation, in order to join the multi-billion-dollar NFT marketplace.