Fr. Sep 29th, 2023

•Greenpeace USA has published an art piece called the „Skull of Satoshi“ to depict Bitcoin’s “ravenous consumption of fossil fuels”.
•The crypto community has reacted by making it a meme and adopting it as their profile picture.
•Greenpeace is pushing developers to make Bitcoin a proof-of-stake coin instead.

Greenpeace’s Art Piece

Greenpeace USA recently published an art piece called the „Skull of Satoshi“ in order to highlight what they see as the negative environmental impact of Bitcoin. The piece involves shadowy coders under a skull made of computer hardware with a backdrop of various industrial structures related to energy production. This is part of Greenpeace’s year-long „Change the code“ campaign which seeks to vilify Bitcoin by painting it as an environmental hazard due to its high energy consumption.

Reaction from Crypto Community

The reaction from the crypto community was mostly amusement and amusement quickly turned into memes within the community, with some even adopting it as their profile pictures. Analysis revealed that much of the hardware used in the skull was outdated and had nothing to do with Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, while many also noted that the structures depicted in the piece were Nuclear reactor cooling towers which emit water vapor and have no adverse impact on the environment compared to fossil fuels. Others joked about buying the skull for use as decoration in their mining setups.

Change The Code Campaign

In 2022 Greenpeace began campaigning against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through their „Change The Code“ campaign designed to push developers towards transitioning BTC away from its current proof-of-work (PoW) validation mechanism towards a proof-of-stake (PoS) system – similar to Ethereum who transitioned away from PoW in 2022. This would reduce heavy power requirements needed for miners who compete for BTC rewards over long periods of time, although this competitive nature does increase overall security on blockchain networks.

Environmental Impact Debate

The debate surrounding cryptocurrency’s environmental impact continues, with many arguing that renewable sources can be utilised for mining operations and others looking into alternative consensus mechanisms such as DAGs and PoS chains which could drastically reduce energy consumption across blockchains. In addition, research suggests that other industries such as banking, manufacturing and transportation contribute far more CO₂ emissions than all cryptocurrency combined – something Greenpeace may want to consider when campaigning against digital assets moving forward.


Bitcoin continues to be a controversial topic both within financial markets and wider society due to its potential implications on global sustainability but it is clear that more education needs to take place before any major decisions are taken on how best mitigate its potential impacts moving forward.

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