Greenpeace’s new crypto mascot: BTC must switch to PoS

BIT4YOU.io
3 min readApr 1, 2023
Greenpeace’s new crypto mascot: BTC must switch to PoS (by bit4you)

Greenpeace International designed a new mascot to symbolize the dangerous levels of pollution generated by bitcoin mining. Greenpeace intended to draw attention to mining problems, while crypto fans appreciated the creation. This is the story of how marketing was reversed.

Skull of Satoshi

Greenpeace and Benjamin von Wong collaborated on an installation named “Skull of Satoshi” to raise awareness about the mining issue. The three-meter-tall skull features a contour of energy components and was constructed using various technological debris, including wires, circuit board elements, and technical details. It also has striking red laser light eyes, with the Bitcoin symbol visible in them, and smoke pipes atop its head. The installation aims to draw public attention to the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining.

How it started vs How it’s going

Environmentalists claim that the technology’s “outdated code” is seriously harming the environment. In turn, bitcoin “has become a significant impediment in the fight to phase out fossil fuels.” The organization offers a free sticker with a “Skull of Satoshi” picture and the motto “Change the code, not the environment”.

Willie Fox, Compass Mining’s head of media strategy, described the Greenpeace mascot as very fantastic and used its image as his profile avatar.

Moreover, Greenpeace “inadvertently created the most metallic bitcoin art in its foolish campaign against PoW,” according to Nick Carter, co-founder of analytics platform Coin Metrics.

Other cryptocurrencies Greenpeace’s campaigns

As a reminder, Greenpeace launched the “Change the code, not the climate” campaign in March 2022 in partnership with other environmental organizations and Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen. Their primary goal is to transition bitcoin from the Proof-of-Work algorithm to the Proof-of-Stake algorithm.

However, Larsen Messari has been criticized by the crypto community. In turn, Ryan Selkis referred to him as a “Judas” who “earned billions in the crypto markets but then put bitcoin under the bus.”

What’s wrong with bitcoin?

BTC uses a proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm to mine new coins and processes user transactions.

As you may know, PoW mining consumes a lot of energy. The truth is that the PoW mechanism includes market players competing. Thus, the more computer power a miner possesses, the more revenue he may make. The equipment that users need to connect to the bitcoin network uses a lot of power and creates a lot of heat, which has a detrimental impact on the environment overall.

Bitcoin vs. household appliances

Important, that bitcoin’s environmental impact is incomparable to that of other industries. This is demonstrated by comparing the amount of carbon footprint generated by each category. You can see that bitcoin’s environmental impact exceeds that of gold mining and even clothes dryers, among other things.

The source: Messari

However, participants in the cryptocurrency community are not wrong to point out that regulators prefer to ignore other, more environmentally damaging industries for unclear reasons.

Bitcoin PoS: mission is impossible

Although PoS could boost Bitcoin’s energy efficiency and scalability, it’s highly unlikely for the cryptocurrency to switch to this algorithm. The shift to PoS may affect Bitcoin’s decentralization since the proof-of-stake mechanism requires validators who possess significant amounts of cryptocurrency, leading to the concentration of BTC in the hands of a few node operators.

In conclusion, the adoption of a PoS algorithm would require significant blockchain infrastructure changes, which could be challenging to implement. Given the current funding of the bitcoin project, the community might not support such a step.

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