After the #CryptoCrash, Will Bitcoin’s Climate Crash Be Next?

by Greenpeace USA

November 23, 2022

The FTX crash must be a wake up call for blockchain investors: clean up your act, and your pollution, or Bitcoin will become just another obsolete technology in the dustbin of history.

If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve probably heard about the implosion of FTX, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange. On its face, this story might feel like another story about a financial scandal — but dig a little deeper, and the potential implications for crypto markets, and our climate, are major.

The bottom line is this: a lot of ordinary folks lost a lot of money this year on cryptocurrency, and with the demise of FTX, could lose a lot more. People are scrambling, scared, and they are wondering if they can trust any cryptocurrencies ever again.

This carries major implications for the crypto trading giants that remain: the huge potential impact of the hidden financial risks and liabilities from climate pollution they are carrying off their balance sheets. We believe this real risk should be acknowledged and that, to address it, crypto trading platforms should champion a change to Bitcoin’s energy-wasting code.

In short, this is an opportunity not to look backwards at the FTX collapse, but a call for the industry to learn from this latest shock and proactively address the looming problem of its climate impact.

Here’s what we know: 

We think it is important for everyday investors along with big institutions promoting Bitcoin business, like Fidelity Investments, Blackrock and Mastercard, to be aware of the huge climate liability crypto trading companies are carrying off their balance sheets. 

That’s why we’re telling Fidelity that the company must use its financial resources to move Bitcoin away from coal — sign our petition here. 

When, not if, those companies have to address their carbon footprint from Bitcoin transactions, it could create a new shock to trading platforms and the broader crypto space.

But the industry does not need to sit back and wait for the next shock. Crypto trading platforms can solve their carbon liabilities by championing efforts to innovate and change Bitcoin’s code.

Greenpeace USA

By Greenpeace USA

Greenpeace is a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

We Need Your Voice. Join Us!

Want to learn more about tax-deductible giving, donating stock and estate planning?

Visit Greenpeace Fund, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable entity created to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through research, the media and educational programs.