A group of environmentalists, including Greenpeace, Environmental Working Group, and other activist organizations, has launched a campaign calling for a change in the code of bitcoin in order to reduce its environmental footprint.
The Wall Street Journal reported the campaign, which involved ads in the New York Times, Politico, and the WSJ itself, was partially funded by the co-founder of Ripple, Chris Larsen. It is also being advised by the Sierra Club.
Former Sierra Club director Michael Brune told the WSJ that the campaign was not anti-bitcoin. It focused on drawing attention to the argument that climate change has reached a critical point, and bitcoin has a substantial contribution to it.
"It's important for anyone in a position to act, to act," Brune told the WSJ. "You can't ignore that we are in a climate emergency."
"We are in this campaign for the long haul, but we are hoping - particularly since Bitcoin is now being financed by entities and individuals who care about climate change - that we can compel leadership to agree that this is a problem that needs to be addressed," Brune also said as quoted by Bloomberg. "Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, PayPal, Venmo, Fidelity - there are lots of companies we anticipate will be helpful to this effort."
Earlier this year, data from Digiconomist's Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index suggested the world's most valuable cryptocurrency has an environmental footprint was equal to that of New Zealand, at some 37 megatons of carbon dioxide annually. The reason for this is the energy intensity of bitcoin mining, which has already been put into the focus of public attention by environmental organizations.
Bloomberg notes that Ethereum, perhaps bitcoin's biggest rival, was already working on a software update that would reduce its carbon footprint. The update should be completed in several months, making Ethereum more environmentally friendly.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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