- Greenpeace USA launches a new campaign against Bitcoin, targeting BlackRock and other financial institutions.
- Despite facing criticism, Greenpeace is pushing to change Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism to Proof of Stake.
Greenpeace Takes On Bitcoin And Big Finance
In its continuous crusade against Bitcoin’s environmental footprint, Greenpeace USA is now targeting financial behemoths such as BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase. The environmental advocacy group ignited a captivating display on July 18, splashing the Bitcoin logo against the impressive New York City skyline as part of their anti-Bitcoin campaign.
Instead of celebrating the decentralized currency, Greenpeace’s visually striking move intends to spotlight the damaging climate consequences of Bitcoin investments made by these financial giants. It is a part of their ongoing, albeit so far unsuccessful, effort to modify Bitcoin’s code.
Greenpeace USA publicly scrutinizes Bitcoin’s environmental implications in a video summarizing their findings from a comprehensive 48-page report. However, this initiative has stirred a backlash, particularly from the Bitcoin community on Twitter, countering with memes, criticism, and constructive comments.
Notably, environmental activist Daniel Batten deconstructed Greenpeace’s report, questioning its accuracy and balance. He urges Greenpeace to study Bitcoin’s role as a catalyst in the energy transition and to understand Proof of Work, the consensus algorithm underpinning Bitcoin.
BlackRock’s CEO, A Possible Bitcoin Advocate?
Greenpeace’s campaign has turned its focus onto Larry Fink, BlackRock’s CEO, and Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s head – both symbolically depicted with laser eyes in their video. Recent times have seen Fink emerge as a potential Bitcoin advocate.
Greenpeace aims to hold these financial leaders accountable for the climate impact of their Bitcoin gambles. Their petition, named “Change the Code, not the Climate,” seeks to switch Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, a less energy-intensive algorithm.
To rally support for their petition, Greenpeace lists four facts about Bitcoin, arguing the harm caused by the current consensus mechanism. The environmental organization doesn’t acknowledge the benefits of a decentralized financial infrastructure, which ironically could be key to achieving their objectives.
Interestingly, the open-source nature of Bitcoin allows anyone, including Greenpeace, to propose changes to the code via a “Pull Request” on Github, or even modify the code themselves. However, the acceptance of such a drastic change as moving to Proof of Stake remains doubtful.
It’s also worth noting that Bitcoin, despite its energy intensity, could potentially contribute to a sustainable energy transition. Bitcoin mining, due to its flexibility in energy consumption, can act as a shock absorber for surplus energy production, thus potentially accelerating the profitability of renewable energy resources.