The debate about crypto and its potential impact on climate change has intensified. Several companies and government officials around the world have expressed concern about this topic which could gain more traction in 2022.
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The non-profit organization that supports the famous internet browser Mozilla joined the group of entities worried about the crypto environmental impact. Via their official Twitter handle, the company announced that it will no longer accept cryptocurrency donations. Mozilla said:
Last week, we tweeted a reminder that Mozilla accepts cryptocurrency donations. This led to an important discussion about cryptocurrency’s environmental impact. We’re listening and taking action.
Mozilla added that crypto and decentralized web technology associated with these digital assets and blockchain have been “an important area for us to explore”. However, the company believes the industry has changed and will start to “reevaluate” if their policies related to climate changes fit their cryptocurrency donation policy. Mozilla said:
In the spirit of open-source, this will be a transparent process and we’ll share regular updates. We look forward to having this conversation and appreciate our community for bringing this to our attention.
The company launched its crypto donation program in 2014 supported by Bitpay. Users were able to donate Dogecoin (DOGE), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and others.
— Mozilla (@mozilla) December 31, 2021
The Tweet above sparked the debate that led to the decision as it was fueled by Jamie Zawinski, one of the founders of Mozilla back in the 1990s, and Peter Linss, the inventor of Gecko, the internet engine that powers the internet browser. Zawinski said:
Hi, I’m sure that whoever runs this account has no idea who I am, but I founded Mozilla and I’m here to say fuck you and fuck this. Everyone involved in the project should be witheringly ashamed of this decision to partner with planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters.
Crypto Burns The World?
Other key members of the original Mozilla team or that contributed to its creation were equally severe and expressed “disappointment” even though the organization has had its crypto donation program active for years. In addition to that, most of the cryptocurrencies accepted by Mozilla have little to no impact on climate change.
Data shared in the documentary “This Machine Greens” claims that the Bitcoin network uses much less energy than always-on devices.
Furthermore, Bitcoin defenders claimed the cryptocurrency could support the expansion of renewable energy due to its characteristics.
it’s clear as day. interruptible load is a requirement for these increasingly renewable (and inherently less predictable) grids. if you want to scale up renewables, you need demand-side flexibility. bitcoin is the _best_ industrial load type for this.
— nic carter (@nic__carter) January 5, 2022
In any case, a comparison between Bitcoin’s energy consumption and other forms of money, such as fiat currency will most likely record a disbalance in the amount necessary to operate. In that sense and in reply to Mozilla’s announcement, Alex Gladstein from the Human Rights Foundation said:
Did you have an important discussion about the petrodollar’s environmental impact? It seems you still take donations in USD.
Related Reading | Lessons From The “This Machine Greens” Bitcoin Documentary, Pt 1: Net Positive
As of press time, Bitcoin (BTC) trades at $41,692 recording an 11.9% loss in the weekly chart.