With today’s outlook on the exorbitant energy consumption of Bitcoin (BTC) It may come as a surprise to learn that the international non-governmental environmental organization Greenpeace was one of its first adopters.
In 2014, the organization set up a facility to accept Bitcoin donations.But this enthusiasm has now grown cold Widespread attention has focused on the climate risks posed by energy-intensive proof-of-work currencies like BitcoinLast week, It became known that Greenpeace had decided to discontinue the serviceconsidering that in an era of rapid global warming it is “no longer sustainable”.
Much of this concern was compounded by the fact that the unprecedented Crypto Bull market this year has been accompanied by a corresponding surge in energy demand: The rapid price increase led to a doubling of the energy consumption of the Bitcoin network in March of this yearAccording to a recent study by the Free University of Amsterdam.
In correspondence with Cointelegraph, the media director of Greenpeace USA, Travis Nichols, When Bitcoin’s environmental profile became clearer to the organization, Greenpeace decided to phase out its facilities, even though the amount of BTC donations received was not significant.Nichols contextualized the Bitcoin energy dilemma in a broader perspective on global digital infrastructure, writing:
“The enormous and ever-increasing amount of energy required to power Bitcoin is due in large part to the specific technology used to sustain this digital currency, but it also points to a greater challenge for the future of the Internet as they get more complex, the need for computing power will continue to grow over the next few years, and that will require a lot more energy. ”
Nichols found that currently only a fifth of the electricity used in the world’s data centers comes from renewable sources.This needs to be reversed quickly if the expansion and role of the internet in supporting economic growth is to be sustained.
To counter the growing reputation of Bitcoin as a “dirty currency”, Several industry participants have tried to draw attention to the fact that their energy needs are still overshadowed by those of the global banking system and even the gold marketA recent report from Galaxy Digital contrasted these aggregated numbers to show that Bitcoin is still using less than either. It also emphasizes that the banking sector’s data on power consumption is significantly less transparent than what is available for Bitcoin.
However, analysts from outside the industry counter this by highlighting the relative, non-aggregated numbers.A blog post published today by the London School of Economics notes this “Every single Bitcoin transaction uses the same amount of electricity as 778,988 credit card transactions.” and has “The same carbon footprint as when processing 1,218,903 transactions”.
Nichols’ conclusion was that the Internet, like any other infrastructure, must be powered by “clean energy sources that support, not hinder, the critical challenge of combating climate change.” Proponents of Bitcoin’s potential to allegedly incentivize the introduction of renewable energies must quickly prove their case or risk the veteran cryptocurrency being “left behind” when the world is at the end of climate policy.