With awareness about the high energy consumption of Bitcoin growing, the Green group has decided to drop Bitcoin donations. This action came after reports disclosed that Greenpeace USA, the environmental group, had decided to stop accepting donations in the form of the pioneer cryptocurrency due to its carbon footprint. When giving reasons for this decision, Greenpeace stated that the energy consumption of Bitcoin had become clearer recently and also combined with the fact that this crypto donation facility was not being extensively used by supporters. Greenpeace falls in the category of one of the early adopters of cryptocurrencies.
It had created the facility of accepting donations in Bitcoin back in 2014. The group had also promoted their policy of jumping the digital bandwagon repeatedly. After Greenpeace introduced this facility, a number of other environmental groups had also begun to introduce similar donation options. However, now that Greenpeace has decided to shut down this facility, it doesn’t appear to be the only one making this move. According to reports, Friends of the Earth will also be withdrawing their facility of accepting donations in the premier cryptocurrency in June. In the coming weeks, a number of other high-profile organizations are expected to announce something similar.
Elon Musk could be the reason behind the recent announcement of environmental groups about shutting down their ability to accept Bitcoin donations. The longstanding concerns regarding the high consumption of energy by Bitcoin were revived by Musk when he announced that people will not be able to purchase cars from Tesla in the form of Bitcoin. The billionaire said that they had reached this decision due to the use of fossil fuels for the Bitcoin mining process. The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index shows that the energy use of Bitcoin is even higher than in entire countries like Malaysia and Sweden.
Greenpeace was founded in 1971 and it has become renowned for being the leader in environmental preservation. Whether it is the protection of the Arctic or stopping nuclear testing, the organization’s protests have proven to be key in creating discussions and awareness of environmental issues. One of the growing trends in the financial markets is ESG i.e. the environmental, social, and corporate governance. Sustainable investments are now being incorporated by portfolio managers into their strategies. Therefore, companies that accept Bitcoin have gotten more conscious of their environmental and ethical responsibilities.
This condemnation of the high energy consumption of Bitcoin has created a new consensus that involves shifting to coins that have sustainable investment strategies. While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are affected by ESG concerns, other alternatives benefit and these include ‘green coins’ like Stellar, Cardano, Chia and Nano. Last month, Cardano and Save the Children non-profit organizations (NPO) teamed up for accepting donations in ADA in East Africa. Recently, Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin had also made a donation of 50 trillion Shiba Inu coins to the COVID Crypto Relief Fund in India. Bitcoin donations are known for providing good causes and charities a much-needed lifeline, but it appears that there will now be a shift towards less-energy consuming digital currencies.