Environmental campaign group Greenpeace USA has stopped accepting bitcoin donations over the carbon footprint of the cryptocurrency.
- According to a report from the Financial Times on Thursday, the organization said: "As the amount of energy needed to run bitcoin became clearer, this policy became no longer tenable."
- It added that the crypto donation facility had not been extensively used by supporters.
- Friends of the Earth, another environmental campaign group, told the FT it was considering the issue.
- Greenpeace USA confirmed the news to CoinDesk, adding that the energy issue is a wider one for the internet realm as a whole.
- "The problem is that, at the moment, only about a fifth of the electricity used in the world’s data centers comes from renewable sources, and that's not good enough," said Travis Nichols, Greenpeace USA media director.
- Nichols added that Greenpeace is working to "change the way the world makes energy," including bitcoin miners in China and major corporates like Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google.
- On Friday, Bloomberg radio and TV host Lisa Abramowicz tweeted that asset manager Bridgewater Associates is warning that "bitcoin consumes as much energy as some countries, a barrier for investors focused on sustainability."
- The news comes soon after Elon Musk said Tesla would no longer accept payments in bitcoin because of bitcoin mining's fossil fuel use.
- A number of firms in the cryptocurrency industry are making moves to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Today, the BitMEX derivatives exchange said it is committing to become carbon neutral by offsetting its emissions, as did New York mining firm Greenidge earlier this month.
- Amid the outcry over crypto-based emissions, other bitcoin mining firms including Argo Blockchain have been stressing that its new facilities are largely powered by hydropower.
UPDATE (12:37 UTC, May 21, 2021): Added comment from Greenpeace USA.