Mozilla, a software community, said in the first week of January that it was suspending bitcoin payments due to environmental concerns.
After 14 weeks, Mozilla said last week that it will once again accept crypto donations, but only from digital assets that use the proof-of-stake consensus process.
The Mozilla Foundation’s executive director, Mark Surman, released an update on April 7 about the software community’s decision to pause crypto donations. Surman said the charity decided to stop crypto donations after Mozilla revealed its climate promises and after Mozilla personnel and supporters objected.
Mozilla decided to look into the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies more thoroughly, and Surman’s blog article summarizes the findings.
Surman’s statement explains, “Starting today, we are revising our donation policy.” “Mozilla will no longer support cryptocurrencies based on ‘proof-of-work,’ which are more energy-intensive. Mozilla will accept less energy-intensive ‘proof-of-stake’ cryptocurrencies. By the end of Q2 2022, Mozilla will compile and release a list of cryptocurrencies it accepts,” the Mozilla Foundation executive director stated.
Surman explained that the decision is mostly based on the organization’s climate commitments, which aim to “beyond the Paris Climate Agreement’s net-zero emissions objective.”
The Mozilla Foundation feels that proof-of-work (PoW) digital assets “substantially increase our GHG footprint,” hence the decision to stop accepting PoW cryptos is “aligned” with Mozilla’s emissions promise, according to Surman.
The move was also made in accordance with the company’s self-imposed climate targets, which call for it to “substantially lower our greenhouse gas impact year over year” until it achieves carbon neutrality by 2021.
“Mozilla’s decision not to accept proof-of-work donations assures that our fundraising efforts are in line with our carbon reduction goals.”
By rejecting all non-PoS crypto, Mozilla is effectively barring both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) – at least until the Merge takes place in the coming months and the blockchain embraces PoS.
Mozilla, the firm behind the Firefox browser, will no longer accept energy-intensive ‘proof-of-work’ cryptocurrencies. This means that crypto donations such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and others will not be accepted.
Proof-of-work, or PoW, is inefficient since it necessitates high-end equipment and mining devices to function. These mining hubs subsequently emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, which has a negative impact on the environment.
According to Digiconomist, Ethereum uses 112 terawatt-hours of electricity each year, which is close to the Netherlands but higher than the Philippines or Pakistan. A single Ethereum transaction consumes enough energy to run an average US family for over nine days.
A single Ethereum transaction consumes the same amount of energy as over 1,50,000 Visa card transactions. It’s significantly more in the case of Bitcoin: 137 terawatt-hours of electricity per year.
Only ‘proof-of-stake’ cryptocurrency will be accepted by Mozilla. Solana, Cardano, Polkadot, and other notable PoS coins are examples. Only a few crypto miners or validators are allowed to mine cryptocurrency under PoS.
As a result, less computing power is required. As a result, high-tech mining equipment is not required, resulting in a large reduction in mining energy.
Mozilla claims that its climate obligations have influenced company actions. Mozilla vowed in January 2021 to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas footprint year over year, with the goal of exceeding the Paris Climate Agreement’s net zero emissions objective.
“As part of our climate obligations, we agreed to assist in the development, design, and improvement of sustainable products.” In a blog post, Mozilla stated, “We believe Mozilla can play a good role in the industry by pushing those cryptocurrencies that we do accept to be upfront about their energy use trends.”
Mozilla had previously halted the option to donate bitcoin in January and said that it would conduct a review to better understand cryptocurrency’s environmental impact and consider whether or not Mozilla should accept cryptocurrency donations in the future.
Meanwhile, Ethereum is nearing a major update that would alter its infrastructure and reduce energy use by 99 percent. Ethereum developers intend to accomplish this by switching from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake architecture. However, it is currently unknown when the shift will take place—and Ethereum currently uses the PoW method.
Blockstream, a cryptocurrency storage provider, and Block Inc, a bitcoin development firm founded by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, have announced a partnership to establish an open-source, solar-powered bitcoin mining facility in the United States.