First Advisor

Dr. James Seibert


Dr. Tim Trenary


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

79 pages


The marketplace for NFTs or non-fungible tokens has exploded with insurmountable popularity generating billions of dollars in revenues when it first received mainstream adoption by the general public in early 2021. As one of the largest applications of blockchain technology, NFTs are tradable rights to digital assets. Ownership of an NFT is recorded in a smart contract on a blockchain and is similar to possessing an artwork with a one-of-the-kind digital signature of authenticity. All NFTs on OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, are transacted through the underlying cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH), an open-source and decentralized blockchain. My thesis investigates the current digital capacity that NFTs now encompass given its rise in popularity, consequential effects in the pricing of Ethereum, key features that OpenSea offers as the go-to NFT marketplace, and a step-by-step overview for the entire process of creating, minting, buying, and selling an NFT on OpenSea. The controversial debate with regards to the environmental impacts from the energy consumption and ecological costs used to mine cryptocurrency and mint NFTs is addressed. Furthermore, the environmental effects are discussed when shifting from a proof of work (PoW) model that Ethereum and Bitcoin currently operate on to a more eco-friendly proof of stake (PoS) model. Because the hype over NFTs continues to grow, now is the time more than ever to understand how these concepts have become so relevant and prominent in a brand-new digitized chapter of the 21st century.

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

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Available for download on Tuesday, April 15, 2025