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Greenpeace will no longer accept Bitcoin

May 21, 2021, 3:49 PM UTC

Tesla isn’t the only company that’s concerned about the high carbon footprint of Bitcoin.

Environmental group Greenpeace has stopped accepting donations that use the cryptocurrency after a seven-year history of doing so. The Bitcoin donation page has already been removed from the Greenpeace Website.  

“In 2014, Greenpeace USA began exploring a policy of accepting Bitcoin donations through a third-party processor that could instantly change these donations to USD for deposit,” said Travis Nichols, Greenpeace USA’s media director, in a statement. “Greenpeace USA never received a significant number of these donations, and as the amount of energy needed to run Bitcoin became clearer, this policy became no longer tenable. Greenpeace USA has stopped accepting these donations.”

Advocacy group Friends of the Earth is also said to be reconsidering its acceptance of Bitcoin, but has not made a final decision, the Financial Times reported.

At issue is the staggering amount of computer power required to mine Bitcoin. Greenpeace said it could no longer ignore the energy demands of that.

“As web services grow and become more complex, the demand for computing power will continue to go up over the next few years, and that will require much more energy,” said Nichols. “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.”

Greenpeace’s decision comes just days after Elon Musk sent Bitcoin prices spiraling after announcing Tesla would no longer accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its cars.

“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk said in a Tweet. “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”

That decision might have cost Tesla as Bitcoin is now trading below what it did after the company’s February announcement it had made a $1.5 billion bet on the crypto.

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