Greenpeace Anti-Crypto Artist Admits They Were Wrong on Bitcoin Mining

The art piece has been admired and adopted by many Bitcoiners.

Artist standing next to a giant green skull with red Bitcoin eyes.
Benjamin Von Wong with Greenpeace skulls of Satoshi
  • Following backlash for an anti-Bitcoin art piece, a Greenpeace-commissioned artist has had a change of heart.
  • Artist activist Benjamin Von Wong admits he was wrong about Bitcoin and PoW.
  • He has offered a solution that would appease Greenpeace and Bitcoiners alike.

Environmental agency Greenpeace has said that Bitcoin is fueling the climate crisis and claim that the cryptocurrency should simply switch its code to operate on a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. 

Greenpeace’s ongoing war with Bitcoin and its environmental impact reached a head when the organization unveiled its art piece dubbed the “Skull of Satoshi.” However, the artist of the piece, activist Benjamin Von Wong, admitted his belief about proof-of-work (PoW) was “wrong.”

Von Wong’s piece was part of the “change the code, not the climate” campaign to convert Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism to a PoS. The artist took to Twitter after his artwork garnered the wrong kind of attention. 

“It was an optimistic hope that Bitcoin could shift away from the needless burning of fossil fuels without losing all the other features that make Bitcoin safe, secure, and decentralized,” Von Wong wrote.

He explained that he now understands that it is not “a simple black-and-white issue.” Following this admission, he went on to propose a solution that could work for both sides. 

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Von Wong believes that Bitcoin miners should invest in renewable energy and away from fossil fuels, as that would leave Greenpeace nothing to argue against. 

A New Face of the Coin

Much of the reason for Von Wong’s turnabout in his stance has to come from the reaction of crypto enthusiasts. Instead of being deterred by the art piece, many admired it and looked to adopt it as a mascot. 

Additionally, other criticisms took away from the effectiveness of the message behind the work. It was pointed out that the skull, which was supposed to be made of electronic waste from Bitcoin mining, contained no ASIC-printed circuit boards. 

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Moreover, the smokestacks on the skull resembled nuclear cooling towers, which emit steam, not pollution.

On the Flipside

  • According to the Bitcoin Mining Council’s 2022 report, 59.5% of the total Bitcoin mining global energy already comes from renewable sources and this figure is increasing.

Why You Should Care

While there are arguments on either side for the harm Bitcoin mining does to the environment, a shift to more renewable energy can only be good. This move should also be manageable as renewable energy is usually more affordable and helps profit margins for miners. 

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Author
Darryn Pollock

Darryn Pollock is a South African-born, UK-based journalist and content writer for DailyCoin with a focus on regulation and legislation revolving around the cryptocurrency space. He has covered the evolving crypto regulatory space, and examined how the US has approached law-making to offer protection in the growth of innovation. Darryn values traditional journalistic principles of truth, accuracy, independence, fairness, and impartiality, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Law from Rhodes University in South Africa.