We know the problem. Bitcoin uses an outdated technology called proof-of-work to validate transactions. This proof-of-work method, at least as it currently operates, uses massive amounts of energy, and thus is a huge source of climate pollution. As Bitcoin's price surges, so, too does its energy use.
We know Bitcoin stakeholders are incentivized not to change. Changing Bitcoin would render a whole lot of expensive infrastructure worthless, meaning Bitcoin stakeholders will need to walk away from sunk costs — or find other creative solutions.
We know the crypto community is overwhelmingly motivated by a sense of progress, fairness, and good intentions. Many advocates are vocal about addressing climate change. The dream of so many early crypto innovators is within reach — but only if the industry gets serious about crypto that runs on low energy.
We know crypto doesn’t need much energy to work. Many newer cryptocurrencies are low consumers of energy or carbon-neutral because they use a better model: proof-of-stake.
We know a basic software code change would reduce Bitcoin’s energy use by 99.9%. If only 30 people — the key miners, exchanges, and core developers who build and contribute to Bitcoin’s code — agreed to reinvent proof-of-work mining or move to a low-energy protocol, Bitcoin would stop polluting the planet. So why isn’t Bitcoin changing its code?
We know who wields influence over the crypto community, from big tech to big banks. Leaders like Elon Musk of Tesla, Jack Dorsey of Block, and Abby Johnson of Fidelity have vested interests in Bitcoin — and the power to affect change. BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, PayPal and many others have a responsibility to help Clean Up Bitcoin.
Environmental Working Group
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.
Greenpeace USA is part of a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace USA is committed to transforming the country’s unjust social, environmental, and economic systems from the ground up to address the climate crisis, advance racial justice, and build an economy that puts people first.