Greenpeace, the ecological NGO, has stopped accepting bitcoin donations due to the big impact the cryptocurrency network has on the environment. The organization, which was one of the first NGOs to add bitcoin to its donations arsenal, has now backpedaled due to the growing energy consumption of the underlying network powering the asset.
Greenpeace Stops Accepting Bitcoin Donations
Greenpeace has stopped accepting bitcoin donations due to the big environmental impact that the energy consumption that the Bitcoin network is having. The NGO declared in an article earlier this week that they would be scraping this payment functionality, though they didn’t receive many donations in the form of cryptocurrency. Greenpeace stressed:
“As the amount of energy needed to run bitcoin became clearer, this policy became no longer tenable,”
Greenpeace was one of the first environmentally-focused NGOs of its kind to adopt and embrace bitcoin as a way of getting more support behind its green flag. It announced back in 2014 it was using Bitpay as their payment provider for this action, and they didn’t have any concerns with energy consumption at the time.
However, times have changed, and this is now this kind of issue the environmental activist group is rallying behind. The concerns that Bitcoin can grow too big using too many resources in the process. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, was one of the first ones that raised alarms concerning the carbon footprint of Bitcoin recently. Tesla also stopped accepting bitcoin payments due to environmental concerns surrounding the currency.
Proof of Work in the Spotlight
However, more than Bitcoin, it is its consensus mechanism that’s being criticized as being too dirty and energy-consuming. Bitcoin is a proof of work-based currency, meaning that participants in the network musk confer a certain kind of effort to the network to operate. These participants are called miners, and they use specialized hardware to maximize their gains over others miners in the network.
It’s this vast amount of specialized hardware that makes Bitcoin secure, and paradoxically, the one that spends vasts amounts of energy doing so. According to Digiconomist, the whole network has a carbon footprint comparable to Portugal’s carbon footprint and consumes as much power as the Netherlands currently.
Other reports disagree with the estimates recorded by the Digiconomist and the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s (CCAF) estimates as well. Both estimates have large discrepancies between each recorded number, and Bitcoin.com News was told that the “CBECI map hasn’t been updated for some time now,” in December 2020.
But it could be worst in the long run: Digiconomist’s last report claims that bitcoin could consume as much energy as all of the data centers in the world, and have a carbon footprint comparable to London’s. Yet bitcoin advocates wholeheartedly believe that proof of work-based currencies can be energy efficient. This is also the case with Elon Musk, who is working with Dogecoin developers to achieve better energy numbers for the meme-centric currency.
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