A constructive debate about the high energy use of Bitcoin (BTC) is now emerging as crypto billionaire Chris Larsen and organisations, including Greenpeace, are advocating for inherent changes to the way BTC transactions are conducted.
In “Change the Code, Not the Climate,” the group is going to try and influence the BTC community to the point where they push for core changes to the way the blockchain and digital currency operate in order to minimize the energy consumption for mining and transaction.
BTC is estimated to consume as much power as Sweden needs for a year. In five years’ time, this may increase to as much energy consumption as Japan’s, Larsen argued in a recent interview.
The first thing Change the Code will seek to do is to influence public perception by purchasing ad spots and pushing for a better understanding of blockchain and BTC along with why it matters to actually make the changes.
To deliver its message, the campaign is talking to leading companies and individuals, including its head, Michael Brune. Brune was part of the Sierra Club before he resigned in 2021.
BTC has faced much criticism about its environmental footprint. BTC mining was discontinued in China precisely because the country began experiencing electricity shortages.
Other countries that took up the call to host BTC miners, including Iran and Kazakhstan, soon suffered from network shortages themselves.
Change the Code has used ethereum (ETH) – BTC’s main rival – as an example of how a blockchain can undertake important changes to minimize its energy-consumption footprint.
The Ethereum blockchain is planning to make a shift towards a proof-of-stake validation protocol which should allow it to consume less energy and alleviate some of the consumer burden paid in gas fees as well.
In conclusion, Larsen said that he would like to see both BTC and ETH succeed. For this to happen, they would need to be sustainable.