Chris Larsen, founder of Ripple, has found an ally with Greenpeace to attack bitcoin. He wants Bitcoin to move away from proof-of-work mining and become more energy efficient. For this they have launched the campaign “Change the Code, Not the Climate” with several climate activists.
The campaign will buy ads in various magazines over the next month. Greenpeace, the Environmental Working Group and some local activist groups rely on their millions of members to share the message.
Change the code, not the weather
Michael Brune leads the campaign and says that they have already had success with “Change the code, not the weather”.
“We are in this campaign for the long haul, but we hope, especially as Bitcoin is now funded by entities and individuals who care about climate change, that we can force leaders to accept that this is an issue that needs to be addressed,” he said. Brune. . “Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, PayPal, Venmo, Fidelity, there are a lot of companies that we hope to help with that.”
Bitcoin has no central leadership
Brune may be confusing bitcoin with another currency like XRP, where Ripple is in charge. Bitcoin is leaderless and completely decentralized. There is no CEO you can go to and no one is at the top of the pyramid. Also, the mentioned companies do not have much to do with bitcoin mining.
However, the campaign has the support of several sectors. According to Brune, frustration is mounting in some areas of the US where bitcoin miners are located. He says there are complaints about the noise, but he has to come up with something substantial if he wants to convince the public of his campaign.
not green enough
Last year, China banned bitcoin mining, after which a large number of miners moved to the United States. Almost all US bitcoin miners promise to mine completely green, but that’s not enough, according to Larsen.
Ultimately, he says, bitcoiners are incentivized to find and use energy as cheaply as possible, not to keep mining green. He is right, but he forgets that green energy is usually the cheapest. Not surprisingly, most miners are attracted to areas such as hydroelectric power plants.
To reinforce his point, he naturally mentions Russia. Larsen fantasizes that Russia can use all its cheap energy to persuade bitcoin miners to come to Russia.
Ethereum and proof of stake
Larsen says that bitcoin can change code through a soft or hard fork. A soft fork would mean that there is still only one blockchain. A hard fork splits Bitcoin into two separate networks, one supporting miners and the other with a different code, perhaps proof of stake.
Ethereum is preparing for the meltdown, a major software update that will make the network more energy efficient. At the moment, the Ethereum network uses miners to approve proof-of-work transactions, just like Bitcoin. But within a few months, Ethereum could switch to another method called proof-of-stake, which, according to Vitalik Buterin, will reduce energy consumption by 99%.
Larsen believes that bitcoiners should see the changes in Ethereum. “With the change from Ethereum, Bitcoin is really the outsider. Some of the newer protocols, like Solana and Cardano, are based on low power consumption.”
The Ripple boss owns bitcoin, ethereum and XRP and says he has invested $5 million to fund the campaign.
“I want to see Bitcoin and Ethereum succeed.”
The importance of proof of work
Larsen’s opinion is not a new opinion. Proof-of-work gets a lot of flak, but proof-of-work criticism is the same as bitcoin’s criticism. Bitcoin would no longer be bitcoin if they moved away from this system.
The purpose of the proof of work is to create an irrefutable financial history. When two stories compete, the one with the most work wins. This is called the Nakamoto consensus and it is, by definition, the truth.
This works because doing work costs energy. You can’t avoid this and you can’t lie about it. You will be rewarded for the work you have done, for your proof of work. In the case of bitcoin, doing work means providing computing power. This computing power is used for the simplest thing there is, namely betting on a number. Each bet is a bet in itself, you are not making any progress with your previous attempts.
Building trustworthy bridges
Gigi is the author of the book 21 Lessons What I Learned From Falling Down the Bitcoin Rabbit Hole, and he explains this:
“This computing is the only bridge between the information realm and the physical realm. When we deal with information, we only have information and the transformation of information: calculation.
Calculations require energy. The energy is the bridge. The energy is real. Remove this bridge to the physical world and you are left in fantasy land: you don’t know what really happened. You will have to trust others to tell you what happened. You can’t check it yourself. You have to trust trust.”
Proof of work is not only useful, but absolutely necessary for bitcoin. Reliable digital money can not do without. You always need an anchor to the physical realm. Without this anchor, the transaction history is not evident and you cannot trust it 100%. gigi close off:
“Energy is the only anchor we have.”