Greenpeace, along with other climate groups and Ripple co-founder and executive chairman Chris Larsen, have launched a new campaign to change Bitcoin (BTC) to a greener consensus model.
The “Change the Code, Not the Climate” campaign aims to get key industry leaders, Bitcoin miners and influencers like Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey to move towards a new consensus model, saying:
“If only 30 people — the key miners, exchanges, and core developers who create and contribute to the Bitcoin code — agreed to reinvent proof-of-work mining or switch to a low-power protocol, Bitcoin would stop polluting the planet.”
Greenpeace cites concerns that the energy needed to mine Bitcoin comes primarily from fossil fuels, and that miners use coal waste and associated natural gas as fuel for their operations.
Greenpeace accepted bitcoin donations for seven years from 2014 to May 2021 before announcing that it would stop accepting bitcoin donations, citing environmental concerns. Around the same time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also stopped accepting bitcoin payments for Tesla vehicles.
Ethereum (ETH), which currently uses the same proof-of-work mechanism as Bitcoin, is in the final stages of a long and difficult transition to a new proof-of-stake mechanism. Greenpeace claims that Proof-of-Stake is much less harmful to the environment due to its lower power consumption.
“Now that Ethereum is changing, Bitcoin is really standing out,” Larsen told Bloomberg in an interview published March 29. “Some of the new protocols, Solana and Cardano, are based on low power consumption,” he added.
Larsen stated that he owns Bitcoin and Ethereum and would like to see both cryptocurrencies succeed, but Bitcoin is on an unsustainable path. He added that if he has concerns about Bitcoin as a competitor to Ripple, he will let it continue.
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Some of the largest Bitcoin mining companies own more than 5,000 BTC, which is more than $237 million at current prices, and data shows that those with the most Bitcoin reserves are increasing their hash rate.
Greenpeace notes this in their manifesto, saying they understand that Bitcoin stakeholders have an incentive not to change, as changing Bitcoin would make their expensive hardware much less valuable, meaning sunk costs or “other creative solutions” would need to be implemented. .
The report quotes Chris Bendiksen, a Bitcoin researcher at CoinShares:
“I would estimate the probability that Bitcoin will ever move to PoS is exactly 0%. Bitcoiners do not want to destroy the security of the protocol by making such a move.”
Greenpeace did not immediately respond to a request for comment.