Algorand Rents Times Square Billboard to Tout Green Cred Ahead of Earth Day

The ad buy comes with a “dark” twist.

AccessTimeIconApr 18, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 18, 2022 at 7:41 p.m. UTC

The Algorand Foundation said Monday that on Thursday, April 21, it will darken Times Square in New York to exhibit its dedication to sustainability.

The takeover will begin with billboards showing an environmentalist call to action before going dark for an hour starting at 8 p.m. ET. The ad spending is pegged to Earth Day in the U.S.

The move comes as crypto’s carbon costs remain a lightning rod as the sector expands into the mainstream. The energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism employed by the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains differs from the proof-of-stake approach used by newer blockchains, including by Algorand.

Algorand Foundation CEO Staci Warden told CoinDesk via email that the event aims to both debunk myths about the carbon impact of blockchain technology and bring awareness to the environmental costs of Times Square billboards themselves.

“We wanted to make a bold statement on a large platform to educate the general public that advances in blockchain technology like those employed at Algorand have made it more green and sustainable than the first generation proof-of-work blockchains, and definitely more green than traditional banking and finance rails,” said Warden, a former executive director at J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM).

Times Square going dark for one hour saves 6,500 kilowatt hours of electricity, according to Algorand. Warden said that figure is equivalent to 350 million transactions on the Algorand blockchain.

“We want to set the bar for other projects to follow,” Warden said. “We want them to see that a blockchain can be energy-efficient and powerful enough to handle complex transactions at scale with finality and security.”

Plans to further Algorand’s carbon-negative pledge, made last Earth Day, are in the works, she added.

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