Blockchain platform Algorand has teamed up with Envision Racing for a series of NFTs to tie in with the ABB FIA Formula E electric race series.
Each of the 1,000 limited-edition NFTs, designed by 3D artist Adam Spizak and creative agency Funday, depicts a helmet representing one of the eight locations hosting an ABB FIA Formula E race.
"For us, nothing tells the story of a driver’s journey quite like their helmet," Matty Schwartz, Creative Director at Funday, told Decrypt. Schwartz explained how each of the eight NFT designs "references iconic visuals from their respective regions," while graphics depicting local foliage "grows overtop the visuals to signify our desire to create a healthier planet."
The NFTs can be minted in the week leading up to each race; on the race day itself, City Edition helmet NFTs will be revealed, offering the chance to win unique special editions.
One lucky holder will be able to reveal a Gold NFT that entitles them to claim a 1 of 1 physical racing helmet with art inspired by their City Edition helmet. A further nine Silver NFTs can be revealed, with holders able to claim an Infinite Object digital frame featuring their NFT.
Formula E fans can also collect all eight City Edition helmets for a chance to win the grand prize: an “ultimate Formula E racing experience” in 2023.
What is Formula E?
Launched in 2014, the ABB FIA Formula E series is a motorsport championship for electric cars; in 2020, the series was awarded FIA world championship status, making it the first single-seater racing series outside of Formula One to achieve world championship status.
Image: Envision Racing
It’s also pioneering the shift towards electrification, both in the motor racing world and the broader world of transport. Speaking ahead of the COP26 conference, Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle pointed toward motorsport’s “crucial role” in driving technological developments that can be applied to everyday use. Reigle said that Formula E “serves as a powerful platform to showcase innovative transport solutions to live sustainable lifestyles.”
Just as Formula E aims to bring sustainability to the forefront of the motorsport world, Algorand is tackling blockchain and cryptocurrency’s energy consumption problem. Where leading cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum use the notoriously energy-hungry proof of work consensus mechanism, Algorand uses a novel Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS) model that, it claims, makes it the “greenest blockchain.”
Algorand claims that a final transaction on its PPoS blockchain generates around 0.0000004 kg of CO2 versus 338 tons of CO2 for a Bitcoin transaction. The Bitcoin blockchain also consumes an estimated 87 terawatt-hours of energy annually, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index—more than many small countries.
Making NFTs sustainable
Speaking to Bloomberg earlier this year, Algorand Foundation CEO Staci Warden explained that proof of work blockchains’ energy consumption makes them a no-go for U.S. businesses. “For businesses that know that they need to be green and have ESG goals that they have to meet, they are not going to tolerate putting large-scale businesses on a blockchain that uses a lot of energy consumption,” she said.
She highlighted the example of the World Wildlife Fund, which abandoned an NFT launch earlier this year after facing criticism over its environmental impact. Although the WWF’s NFTs were launched on Polygon, a proof of stake blockchain, she pointed out that environmentalists were “up in arms” about the fact that Polygon is built atop the proof of work Ethereum blockchain. “The World Wildlife Fund had to take back the NFTs, the guys that bought the NFTs were mad. The whole thing was just a mess,” she said. “And it's because the World Wildlife Fund didn't choose a carbon-negative layer 1 blockchain, which Algorand is.”
To maintain its carbon-negative footprint, Algorand participates in various initiatives including its partnership with ClimateTrade to offeset carbon emissions; Algorand and Envision Racing are donating all proceeds from the sale of the NFTs towards planting mangrove trees in Madagascar as part of their ‘Race Against Climate Change’ campaign.
As part of a wider commitment to sustainability, Algorand Foundation partners with projects such as SailGP and Climate Ride, as well as forging partnerships with environmentally-conscious blockchain projects such as Global Carbon Holding and PlanetWatch. Algorand has also launched eye-catching initiatives to drive sustainability awareness, by buying billboards in Times Square and turning them off to highlight their energy consumption, as well as creating air-purifying billboards in Berlin.
Ultimately, said Algorand creator Silvio Micali, sustainable blockchains are a vital tool in the mission to create financial inclusion. “The less privileged are the first to suffer from the degradation of the environment,” he said. “A blockchain that is bad for the environment is a bad blockchain. Period.”
To find out more about the Envision NFT series, click here. To learn about Algorand’s environmental initiatives, click here.
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