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Climate group members, notably Greenpeace and Chris Larsen (Ripple CEO and co-founder) are launching a campaign to force BTC into a more environmentally-friendly network. Aptly named “change the code and not the climate,” the campaign aims to create more awareness about the negative effects of BTC mining on the environment. They hope top influencers such as Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey can support their campaign and force BTC into a new consensus model.

Why A Change In The BTC Consensus Mechanism Is Needed Now?

Part of the statement from the campaign states that “if the 25 members of BTC code developers agree to remodel BTC PoW mining to a PoS consensus or any other consensus that consumes less energy, BTC would no longer pollute the planet.” 

Greenpeace is particularly worried that fossil fuels are used for BTC mining. However, most miners are using related natural gas and coal waste as a substitute for fossil fuels which are pollutants to the environment. Before stopping accepting donations in BTC last May, Greenpeace had accepted donations in BTC for more than six years. Greenpeace halted receiving donations in BTC because of its negative effect on the environment.

Coincidentally, Tesla also made a similar announcement, stating that it no longer supports BTC payments for the purchase of its EVs. Tesla CEO (Elon Musk) cited the same reason as Greenpeace on why the electric car manufacturers no longer accept BTC. Even though Ethereum is also a PoW network like BTC, it is now close to completing its process of moving to a PoS mechanism despite the several hurdles it has encountered in doing so.

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Greenpeace claims that any network using a PoS mechanism doesn’t consume much energy compared to those that use a PoW mechanism. While speaking during a new interview with Bloomberg, Ripple CEO, Larsen, said “once Ethereum completes the switch to a PoS, BTC will be the only network still relying on a PoW mechanism.” he further said, “Solana, Cardano, and other networks are using mechanism that consumes low energy.”

Larsen disclosed that his investment portfolio contains BTC and ETH, and would be delighted if both digital assets rise in value. However, if BTC fails to change from its current PoW mechanism, it might be heading towards an unsustainable path. He also stated that he is no longer worried that Bitcoin is a healthy Ripple competitor until BTC switches to a mechanism that consumes lesser amounts of energy.

A Reluctance To Change

Various data confirms that most of the top BTC mining firms own at least 5k BTC (valued at more than $238m based on current rates), with most of them now increasing their hash rate. However, Greenpeace also acknowledged that many BTC stakeholders (especially BTC miners) would reject a change in BTC’s PoW mechanism for selfish reasons.

For instance, their expensive equipment will no longer be useful. Thus, making them lose huge amounts of money in production costs. Even if they have to implement new solutions, it would cost them more than their current setup.

One of Coinshares’ BTC researchers Chris Bendiksen, opined that “it is extremely unlikely that BTC would ever move to a PoS. Bitcoiners assume that making such moves would destroy the network’s security – something they won’t want to happen.”

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Alicia Maher

By Alicia Maher

Alicia Maher is an accomplished news writer with a passion for storytelling. With years of experience in the field, she is skilled at delivering accurate, engaging, and insightful news coverage to her audience.