Chris Larsen, co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple, has launched a new campaign aimed at transforming Bitcoin (BTC) into a more ecologically friendly consensus architecture, in collaboration with Greenpeace and other climate NGOs.
The “Change the code, not the environment” campaign tries to persuade important industry executives, Bitcoin miners. As well as influencers such as Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey to switch to a new consensus model, claiming:
“If only 30 individuals agreed to reinvent proof-of-work mining or switch to a low-energy methodology, Bitcoin would stop damaging the world.”
Greenpeace is concerned that the energy necessary to mine Bitcoin is largely derived from fossil fuels, and that miners are fueling their operations with coal waste and associated natural gas.
Between 2014 and May 2021, Greenpeace received Bitcoin donations for seven years. Before stating that it would no longer accept them due to environmental concerns. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, ceased taking Bitcoin payments for Tesla vehicles at about the same time.
Ethereum (ETH), which uses the same proof-of-work mechanism as Bitcoin, is nearing the end of a long and difficult transition to a new proof-of-stake system. Due to its decreased energy consumption, Greenpeace claims that proof-of-stake is far less environmentally detrimental.
“Now with Ethereum shifting, Bitcoin really is the outlier”
Larsen told Bloomberg in an interview published on March 29 that “now with Ethereum shifting, Bitcoin really is the outlier”. He went on to say that “several of the newer protocols, such as Solana and Cardano, are designed on low energy.”
Larsen indicated that he owns Bitcoin and Ethereum and that he wants to see both prosper. But thinks Bitcoin is on an unsustainable path. He went on to say that if he had any reservations about Bitcoin as a competitor to Ripple, he would let it go.
Some of the largest Bitcoin mining companies retain more than 5,000 BTC. Which is worth more than $237 million at today’s pricing. And data reveals that those with the most Bitcoin reserves are raising their hash rate.
Greenpeace acknowledges this in its manifesto. Stating that Bitcoin stakeholders have an incentive not to change. Because doing so would reduce the value of their pricey equipment. Requiring sunk costs or “other inventive solutions.”
According to the report, Chris Bendiksen, a Bitcoin researcher at CoinShares, said:
“I’d say there’s a 0% chance Bitcoin will ever go to PoS. Bitcoiners have no desire to jeopardise the protocol’s security in this way.”