Ripple’s Radical Call for Greener Bitcoin

He called on the Bitcoin network to move from energy guzzling proof-of-work .

And in a plug for his own network, Larsen noted that the annual energy use of Ripple’s XRP network is akin to that of 50 American homes—versus 12 million homes for Bitcoin.

Nor does Larsen buy the argument of companies like Square that suggest Bitcoin can cope with its energy issues by relying on renewables.

“What’s to stop Peter Thiel from setting up a super tanker in the middle of the ocean, and running a bitcoin miner on super cheap coal?” asks Larsen.

For starters, unlike the Ethereum crowd, who are capable of some kumbaya moments, the Bitcoin community has always been fractious and often incapable of agreeing on even minor changes for the greater good.

Meanwhile, cynics will be quick to point out that Larsen, a billionaire himself, is acting in his own interest by talking up XRP over Bitcoin, or even using the hot-button environment issue to distract from Ripple’s ongoing troubles with the SEC.

If the crypto industry isn’t careful, broad swaths of investors will start to regard it as an unethical business akin to tobacco or fossil fuels.

Instead of acknowledging the issue, too many influential Bitcoiners—who are otherwise fond of spouting lofty ideals—are responding to green criticism with aggression and tribal self-interest.

Meanwhile, crypto retail giants such as Coinbase, Kraken and Robinhood can offer consumers the option to pay a tiny “green fee” when they buy Bitcoin or expand their education pages to explain the environmental impact of different cryptocurrencies.

In any case, they soon may have no choice.

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