Bitcoin a Catalyst to Climate Crisis: Greenpeace USA :
Greenpeace USA – an environmental advocacy group – has dragged out Bitcoin for having what it calls an “outdated and efficient” code system.
In a tweet on Thursday, the organization pointed out that Bitcoin’s proof of work mechanism is contributing to climate crisis.
However, it suggested that the code be swapped out for a less energy-intensive mechanism like the proof of stake.
The advocacy group’s gained momentum from the just concluded Ethereum merge – Transition to Proof of Stake model.
“Ethereum just proved that cryptocurrency doesn’t have to come at the cost of a livable planet,” said the non-profit. Meanwhile, it criticized Bitcoin for continuing to consume more electricity than “entire countries.”
Bitcoin’s energy consumption has generally risen over time as the Bitcoin mining industry continues to expand.
According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Its theoretical upper bound consumption is roughly 159.63 TW/h right now.
By comparison, the entire country of Norway consumes about 124 TW/h, per data from Forbes last year.
The proof of work mechanism is the reason for Bitcoin’s energy consumption.
In operation, users (miners) consume energy in a race to build Bitcoin’s next block, where winners are rewarded with BTC.
Naturally, as Bitcoin’s price rises over time, they are incentivized to burn more energy to earn additional rewards.
As Greenpeace explained;
this process is incentivizing miners to bring old coal and gas plants “back to life”, thereby “fueling the climate crisis.”
“It doesn’t have to be this way,” argued the non-profit. “Ethereum – one of Bitcoin’s top competitors — just changed its code system to reduce its energy usage by 99.95%.”
Greenpeace last dragged Bitcoin in March, after Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen funded a $5 million campaign to see Bitcoin transition to proof of stake.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace has earlier told Bitcoin-affiliated tech billionaires – Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk included – to broaden awareness about its energy footprint.