Algorand, a carbon-negative blockchain protocol, is out to prove that it’s not an environmental villain. So, it’s dimming the lights in NYC to get your attention.
The company behind the initiative, Algorand Foundation, says that the move is intended to raise awareness about the need for more sustainable blockchain protocols. And what better way to do that than by reducing energy consumption in one of the world’s most iconic cities?
“This action is meant to demonstrate that even small changes in how we power our blockchain networks can have a big impact on the environment,” said Algorand Foundation President and CEO W. David Ward in a statement.
To pull off the stunt, Algorand will be using a special “energy-efficient” node that consumes less power than traditional nodes. The team will also be working with the city of New York to ensure that the lights are dimmed in a way that doesn’t impact public safety.
The Algorand Foundation has purchased ad space on more than 30 digital billboards in Times Square and elsewhere in Manhattan for a weeklong campaign that will feature the message “Algorand Is Carbon Negative.”
The move is meant to educate the public about the potential of blockchain technology to help fight climate change — and perhaps dispel some of the bad rap cryptocurrency has earned for its massive energy usage. It also comes as Algorand prepares to launch its mainnet 2.0, which the foundation says will make the protocol “10,000 times more energy efficient” than bitcoin.
The move is just the latest example of how Algorand is trying to position itself as a more sustainable option in the blockchain space. Earlier this year, the company launched an initiative to offset the carbon emissions of all transactions on its network.
And it’s not just talk. Algorand says that it has already offset more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) through its carbon offset program. That’s the equivalent of taking 213,000 cars off the road for a year.
The company is also working on other sustainability initiatives, including a project to develop a more efficient way to mine Algos, the native cryptocurrency of the Algorand network.
So far, the response to Algorand’s sustainability push has been positive. The company says that its offset program has attracted support from major businesses and organizations, including Microsoft, Samsung, and the World Economic Forum.
“We are proud to be playing our part in building a more sustainable future for blockchain,” said Ward. “But this is just the beginning.”
Algorand isn’t alone in its effort to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of blockchain. The Ethereum Foundation has also been working to increase education and adoption of Ethereum 2.0, which it says will be far more energy-efficient than the current version of the protocol.
But while Ethereum 2.0 is still in development, Algorand is already up and running — and its mainnet 2.0 is set to launch later this month. That makes it one of the most advanced blockchain protocols when it comes to energy efficiency.
The Algorand Foundation says that its protocol uses about 1/1000th of the energy of bitcoin — and that its mainnet 2.0 will use even less.
But while Algorand may be more energy-efficient than bitcoin, it’s still not clear how much of a difference that will make in the fight against climate change.
Blockchain protocols like Algorand and Ethereum 2.0 may eventually help to reduce carbon emissions — but they’re still a long way from becoming carbon-neutral. And until they do, they’re likely to remain a drop in the bucket when it comes to the fight against climate change.
As blockchain technology continues to gain popularity, it’s important to make sure that it doesn’t become an environmental disaster. Luckily, there are companies like Algorand that are working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.