Greenpeace Unveils ‘Skull of Satoshi’ to Spark Debate Over Bitcoin’s Environmental Impact; Creator Clarifies It ‘Wasn’t Meant to Be Anti-Bitcoin’

Greenpeace Unveils ‘Skull of Satoshi’ to Spark Debate Over Bitcoin’s Environmental Impact; Creator Clarifies It ‘Wasn’t Meant to Be Anti-Bitcoin’

Skull of Satoshi greenpeace benjamin von wong

Greenpeace, the well known environmental NGO, has unveiled the “Skull of Satoshi,” an art installation intended to spark debate about the impact of Bitcoin on the environment. The 11-foot skull was constructed with electronic waste materials and features smokestacks and Bitcoin logos. However, its creator, Benjamin Von Wong, explained it was not meant to be an anti-Bitcoin symbol.

Greenpeace Unveils ‘Skull of Satoshi’ Art Installation

Greenpeace, the international environmental NGO, unveiled the “Skull of Satoshi” on March 23, an 11-foot art installation destined to criticize Bitcoin’s effect on the environment. The structure, which was created by Benjamin Von Wong, has distinctive elements included to spark a debate on how destructive bitcoin mining can supposedly be.

One of these is the presence of smokestacks, which symbolize the use of fossil fuels to produce the energy that serves to operate the Bitcoin network via mining. Also, the skull has hundreds of protruding cables and bitcoin logos in its eyes. According to Greenpeace, it was created with e-waste material, to symbolize the computers used to validate Bitcoin transactions.

Greenpeace’s objective is to raise awareness of the energy consumption of Bitcoin, and how this could change via a change in the code of the cryptocurrency. Greenpeace’s Rolf Skar explained:

Our skull design serves as a powerful symbol, urging financial institutions to use their influence to advocate for a code change that could reduce Bitcoin’s electricity usage by a whopping 99%. We cannot afford to expand our reliance on fossil fuels any further.

The Skull of Satoshi will next travel to New York to be part of an “accountability tour,” in which Greenpeace will try to encourage financial institutions using Bitcoin to call for a change in the code of the currency to lessen its effects on climate change.

Greenpeace Unveils 'Skull of Satoshi' to Spark Debate Over Bitcoin's Environmental Impact; Creator Clarifies It 'Wasn't Meant to Be Anti-Bitcoin'
Benjamin Von Wong Making the Skull of Satoshi. Source:

Benjamin Von Wong Clarifies His Intention

Benjamin Von Wong, the maker of the Skull of Satoshi, took his opinions to Twitter, clarifying his true intentions with the construction of the installation. The installation, which was commissioned by Greenpeace, was created with a simplistic idea of Bitcoin, Von Wong explained in a Twitter thread on March 25. He stated:

I made the Skull believing that Bitcoin Mining was a simple black-and-white issue. I’ve spent my entire career trying to reduce real-world physical waste, and PoW felt intuitively wasteful. Of course, I was wrong.

Furthermore, Von Wong declared that the sculpture was never meant to be anti-Bitcoin, but part of his “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.”

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What do you think about the Skull of Satoshi and Greenpeace’s campaign to change Bitcoin’s code? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Benjamin Von Wong

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