Greenpeace, Ripple co-founder campaigning to change Bitcoin code

Greenpeace has launched a new campaign with Ripple co-founder and executive chair Chris Larsen. The goal is to change Bitcoin (BTC), which is now more environmentally friendly.

The campaign “Change the Code, Not the Climate” aims to press key industry leaders, Bitcoin miners, influencers such as Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk into changing to a new consensus model.

“Bitcoin would cease to pollute the earth if only 30 people — key miners, exchanges and core developers — agreed to reinvent proof of work mining or to move to a low energy protocol.

Greenpeace raises concerns about the fact that Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy from fossil fuels. Miners are also using coal waste and natural gas to power their operations.

Greenpeace received Bitcoin donations for seven consecutive years, from 2014 to May 2021. Then, it announced that it would no longer accept Bitcoin donations due to environmental concerns. Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, stopped accepting Bitcoin payments for Tesla cars around the same time.

Ethereum (ETH) currently uses the same proof of work mechanism as Bitcoin. It is now in the final stages a long and complex process to create a new proof of stake mechanism. Greenpeace claims that proof-of-stake has a lower energy consumption, making it less harmful to the environment.

Larsen told Bloomberg that Bitcoin is now the exception, with Ethereum’s changes. He said this in an interview that was published March 29. He added that some of the more recent protocols, such as Solana or Cardano, are built on low-energy.

Larsen stated that he is a Bitcoin and Ethereum owner and wants to see them succeed. However, he believes Bitcoin is on a downward trajectory. He said that he could let Bitcoin continue if there were concerns about Ripple being a competitor to Bitcoin.

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The largest Bitcoin mining companies have more than 5,000 Bitcoins, which is upwards of $237 million at current price. Data shows that the Bitcoin miners with the highest Bitcoin reserves are increasing the hash rate.

This is something Greenpeace has stated in its manifesto. They believe that Bitcoin stakeholders have an incentive to not change. Because changing Bitcoin would make their expensive equipment less valuable, sunk costs and “other creative solutions” would need to be implemented.

The report quoted Chris Bendiksen (a CoinShares Bitcoin researcher), as saying:

“I would put the probability of Bitcoin ever moving towards PoS at exactly zero.” It is not in the interest of Bitcoiners to compromise the security protocol’s integrity by making such an move.

Greenpeace did no immediate respond to a request to comment.