Ripple co-founder and executive chairman Chris Larsen wants something done about Bitcoin’s carbon footprint.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the billionaire stated that bitcoin’s Proof of Work consensus was long overdue for an overhaul, and as such had lobbied several climate activist groups, including Greenpeace, for a “Change the Code, Not the Climate.” campaign, with a US$5 million fund to support the drive.
The campaign, which aims to pressure the bitcoin developer community to change the way bitcoin transactions are conducted, pays special attention to the energy it expends mining block rewards.
“We are in this long-term campaign, but above all we hope because bitcoin is now funded by entities and individuals who care about climate change, that we can force leadership to agree that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. said Michael Brune, a former Sierra Club executive director who is now in charge of the campaign.
A recent report from Cambridge University’s Center for Alternative Finance stated that Bitcoin consumes as much electricity as mid-sized European countries and more than Sweden. consume as much power as Japan’.
Since 2020, the US has been host to a large number of miners, with the global hash rate increasing dramatically. Currently, the US is the largest bitcoin mining country, hosting 40% of the global hash rate.
While Bitcoin mining is a good thing for most crypto users, a significant number of prominent players, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, have expressed environmental concerns such as high energy consumption and commotion coming from mining companies.
In addition, according to Larsen, “many miners reuse old coal and gas plants and are not responsible managers of the amount of power they use more and more,” driving up residents’ utility bills or sucking power from the grid regardless of overload, which is unacceptable. .
Larsen now wants bitcoin miners to be incentivized to remove carbon from the atmosphere, by moving to an energy-efficient consensus mechanism like Proof-of-Stake. For him, this would mean changing the network’s code to make Bitcoin less energy-intensive, as do XRP, Solana, Cardano, and Ethereum, which are scheduled to upgrade to PoS later this year and are expected to cut power consumption by 99 percent. % will decrease.
“With Ethereum changing, Bitcoin is really the outlier,” Larsen added. “Some of the newer protocols [like] Solana, Cardano are built for low energy consumption.”
Larsen’s campaign did not sit well with the wider crypto community, Blockstream CSO Samson Mow and many other crypto experts have expressed their dismay at the proposed radical shift.
Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen is funding a $5 million ad campaign calling on Bitcoin-friendly CEOs to switch the network to proof of stake. Perhaps he prefers a world where CEOs can centrally control the future of a cryptocurrency network” – said Coin Center’s Neeraj K. Agrawal.