Greenpeace war on Bitcoin unintentionally spawns ‘badass’ new mascot

Greenpeace’s “Skull of Satoshi” artwork highlights their gripes with Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism, but Bitcoin supporters adopted it as a new mascot.

Greenpeace war on Bitcoin unintentionally spawns 'badass' new mascot

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Environmental group Greenpeace’s latest salvo against Bitcoin (BTC) has seen the commissioning of an artwork aimed at highlighting its climate impact. Instead, the art piece has been widely praised by Bitcoiners, who want to adopt it as its mascot.

On March 23, the climate activism group partnered with art activist Benjamin Von Wong for its ongoing “change the code, not the climate” campaign that seeks to convert Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake (PoS) model.

Greenpeace revealed its art piece dubbed the “Skull of Satoshi” — an 11 feet (3.3 meters) tall skull featuring the Bitcoin logo and red laser eyes, a popular meme adopted by Bitcoin supporters.

Some climate activists think #Bitcoin is just fake internet money they can safely ignore.

The truth? Bitcoin is causing dangerous amounts of real-world pollution from its ravenous consumption of fossil fuels, all due to its outdated code.

The solution? #ChangeTheCode

— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) March 23, 2023

“Smoking stacks” sit atop the skull, which is made of recycled electronic waste, supposedly to represent the “fossil fuel and coal pollution” caused by Bitcoin mining and the “millions of computers” used to validate network transactions.

Greenpeace’s marketing efforts took an unexpected turn when Bitcoin supporters expressed admiration for the art piece, with some already adopting it as a quasi-mascot.

NEW: #Bitcoin is causing MASSIVE amounts of pollution and has become a major roadblock in our fight to phase out fossil fuels. So we teamed up with @thevonwong to create this giant with laser eyes to help us raise awareness and spark change.


— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) March 23, 2023

Will Foxley, the media strategy director at crypto miner Compass Mining, called the art piece “badass” and changed his Twitter profile picture to an image of the Skull of Satoshi.

So badass honestly

— Will Foxley (@wsfoxley) March 24, 2023

Coin Metrics co-founder Nic Carter tweeted on March 24 that the art is the “most metal Bitcoin artwork to date.”

Related: Eager to work: Bitcoin switch to proof-of-stake remains unlikely

Others, meanwhile, picked apart the imagery Greenpeace chose, with one Twitter user saying the smokestacks on the skulls head resembled nuclear-cooling towers, which emit steam.

They’re demonizing nuclear energy now? Those are nuclear cooling towers that emit water vapor.

— magic internet moneyist (@notgrubles) March 23, 2023

Greenpeace’s campaign was launched around a year ago alongside other climate groups and Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen.

It aims to pressure key Bitcoin developers, miners and the government and claims 30 “key” entities could move Bitcoin from proof-of-work if they agreed to the change.

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