- Greenpeace has stopped accepting Bitcoin donations.
- Bitcoin has been facing bad press due to its PoW protocol energy use.
- However, Bitcoin supporters remain convinced they can make Bitcoin greener.
Greenpeace, an environmentally-focused NGO, has stopped accepting Bitcoin (BTC) donations. The NGO cited Bitcoin’s adverse impact on the environment as the reason behind the decision.
Notably, Greenpeace was an early crypto adopter having started accepting BTC donations as early as 2014. Thus, this made Greenpeace one of the first NGOs to accept crypto donations. However, as Bitcoin is increasingly facing backlash for its energy consumption, the NGO has reevaluated its position.
In fact, Bitcoin has come under fire, not because it is a cryptocurrency, but because of the consensus protocol that runs the blockchain. Bitcoin utilizes a protocol called Proof of Work (PoW). Although PoW is one of the most accurate and secure protocols, it has a downside. The PoW con is that it is slow and consumes a lot of power.
To clarify, blockchain technology works in a way that blocks of data are added to the network over time. These blocks contain records of transactions made on the blockchain. However, for blockchains to add new blocks, first the data the blocks contain must be validated. Block validation is done by miners. This is mainly because once miners validate a block it cannot be reversed.
As such, PoW is one of many protocols miners use to validate blocks. Other protocols include the more energy efficient and popular Proof of Stake protocol utilized by Cardano or Proof of History used by Solana.
Presently, researchers estimate that Bitcoin has a carbon footprint the size of Portugal, with energy consumption equal to the Netherlands. This has made the top crypto increasingly unpopular with Tesla removing it as a payment option. In addition, the US state of New York is working on a three-year crypto ban. Similarly, China is mulling a complete Bitcoin mining ban.
However, Bitcoin fans believe that crypto can be made more eco-friendly. In particular, Twitter and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey, reiterated his commitment to working towards making Bitcoin greener in a series of tweets.