Greenpeace Stops Accepting Bitcoin Donations, Cites High Energy Use

Friends of the Earth is reported to be reviewing the situation, too.

AccessTimeIconMay 21, 2021 at 11:51 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:59 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

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.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.