Environmental advocacy group Greenpeace USA has once again sparked controversy within the Bitcoin community with its latest anti-Bitcoin campaign.
Recently, it projected images onto prominent buildings in New York City, drawing attention to the significant climate impact of Bitcoin investments by major financial institutions, specifically JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase) and BlackRock.
The projections, which premiered on July 18, showed the CEOs of Blackrock and Chase, Larry Fink and Jamie Dimon, respectively, with red laser eyes, a characteristic of Bitcoin maximalist profile images.
These bold visuals served as a stark reminder of the urgent environmental crisis at hand, directly attributing the peril to the Bitcoin investments and practices of these financial giants.
The environmental advocacy group notably labeled Bitcoin as a "climate bomb," criticizing its hefty energy consumption predominantly derived from fossil fuels such as coal and gas. Alarmingly, its recent report indicates that some coal-fired power plants, initially marked for closure, have been resurrected or kept operational to power Bitcoin mining activities.
The Bitcoin community swiftly hit back, with prominent members of the community criticizing Greenpeace's stance on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Many members of the community defended Bitcoin's energy consumption and claimed it is necessary for the network's security.
In response, Greenpeace cited a recent report on significant losses due to crypto hacks and suggested that cryptocurrencies do not necessarily require high-energy consumption to function effectively. In turn, Bitcoiner Niko Jilch urged Greenpeace to delete its account.
This latest controversy follows Greenpeace USA's earlier calls for a change in Bitcoin's consensus mechanism from proof of work (PoW) to proof of stake (PoS) in March 2023.
That suggestion drew heavy criticism from the Bitcoin community, with some suggesting that Greenpeace should fork the Bitcoin code themselves if they want such a change, and others comparing Bitcoin's energy consumption with that of clothes dryers.
Greenpeace, in partnership with Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen, has been advocating for a more energy-efficient consensus mechanism through a campaign titled "Change the Code, Not the Climate." The campaign, funded by Larsen, aims to pile pressure on the Bitcoin community to adopt a less energy-intensive protocol.