Greenpeace launches campaign to change Bitcoin code

What

Greenpeace, along with other climate groups, has launched a new campaign to change Bitcoin to a more environmentally friendly consensus protocol

Why

Greenpeace says that the energy required to mine Bitcoin comes mostly from fossil fuels

What next

The campaign plans to launch a series of adverts putting pressure on well-known crypto boosters, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who it says have a “responsibility to help clean up Bitcoin”

The story

Greenpeace alongside other climate groups has launched a new campaign aiming to get developers to change Bitcoin’s consensus protocol to one that is more ‘more environmentally friendly’.

The campaign, entitled ‘Change the code, not the climate’, aims to put pressure on key industry leaders including influencers like Elon Musk and Bitcoin miners into moving to a new consensus protocol.

In a statement, the group said:

“If only 30 people — the key miners, exchanges, and core developers who build and contribute to Bitcoin’s code — agreed to reinvent proof-of-work mining or move to a low-energy protocol, Bitcoin would stop polluting the planet.”

Greenpeace cites concerns that most of the energy used to mine Bitcoin comes from fossil fuels, and that miners are using coal waste and natural gas to fuel their operations. These concerns have been widely disputed, with a number of research papers from organisations such as Square noting that the majority of energy used to mine Bitcoin actually comes from renewable sources and incentivises cleaner energy.

While Greenpeace was among many organisations happy to accept Bitcoin as payment between 2014 to 2021, it later announced it was halting Bitcoin donations due to environmental concerns.

To read more about how Bitcoin is mined visit our learning resource here.

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