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Greenpeace, Crypto Billionaire Lobby To Change Bitcoin Code

OnZine Articles

ByOnZine Articles

Apr 9, 2022
Greenpeace, Crypto Billionaire Lobby To Change Bitcoin Code

Bitcoin is about to face a new round of criticism for its negative environmental impact.

Several climate activist organizations, including Greenpeace and crypto billionaire Chris Larsen, are launching a “Change the Code, Not the Climate” campaign to pressure the Bitcoin community to change the way it orders transactions, which already consumes as much energy as Sweden. Larsen stated in an interview that Bitcoin could consume as much power as Japan in five years.

Over the next month, the campaign will purchase advertisements in leading publications. Greenpeace, the Environmental Working Group, and a few local activist groups are also mobilizing their millions of members to fight Bitcoin miners on the ground.

According to Michael Brune, who is in charge of the campaign, the campaign has already reached out to a dozen key people and corporations, some of which are involved in Bitcoin while also pledging Environmental, Social, and Governance, or ESG, compliance.

“We are in this campaign for the long haul, but we are hoping — especially now that Bitcoin is being financed by entities and individuals concerned about climate change — that we can compel leadership to agree that this is a problem that needs to be addressed,” said Brune, who was the Sierra Club’s long-time executive director before resigning last year. According to the campaign, approximately 50 key miners, crypto exchanges, and core developers have the ability to change Bitcoin’s code.

Larsen had a net worth of $3.4 billion last year, according to Forbes’ billionaire’s list. He is the executive chairman and co-founder of Ripple, a company that supports XRP. In 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ripple, Larsen, and another executive with “raising over $1.3 billion through an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering.” The case is expected to be resolved this year. Larsen has stated that he is not launching this campaign to bring down a competing cryptocurrency.

“If I was worried about Bitcoin as a competitor, I think the best thing I could do is let it continue on its current path,” Larsen said. “This is simply an unsustainable course of action.”

Larsen stated that in recent years, he has refocused on philanthropy, investing approximately $90 million in various climate change-related causes.

Bitcoin’s environmental concerns were brought to the forefront last year when Elon Musk stated that Tesla Inc. would resume accepting Bitcoin as payment only after at least 50% of mining was done with renewable energy.

Larsen believes Bitcoin’s power consumption issue could be resolved through a soft or hard fork, both of which change the network’s code to make Bitcoin less power-hungry. A soft fork would keep Bitcoin as a unified blockchain. A hard fork would divide Bitcoin into two networks, one supporting miners and the other running different code, possibly Proof of Stake.

According to the campaign, approximately 50 key miners, crypto exchanges, and core developers have the ability to change Bitcoin’s code.

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OnZine Articles main author - Max Haydon

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