Greenpeace USA published an art piece called the “Skull of Satoshi” to depict the “ravenous consumption of fossil fuels” by the flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC).
The piece involves shadowy coders under a skull made of computer hardware with a backdrop of various industrial structures related to energy production.
The Skull of Satoshi is the latest in Greenpeace’s now year-long “Change the code” campaign to vilify Bitcoin by painting it as an environmental hazard due to the consumption of electricity in mining.
Greenpeace intended for the art installation to become a symbol of the environmental destruction caused by BTC; however, the piece seems to have had the opposite impact on the community.
Elevated to meme status
Proponents of Bitcoin mostly seem amused by the piece and are quickly making it a meme within the community. Some have even adopted it as their new profile picture.
Crypto Twitter’s analysis revealed that the hardware used in the skull was severely outdated and mostly employed tech that had nothing to do with Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, the structures depicted in the piece are 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 to use as decoration in their mining setups.
Change the code
Greenpeace first began crusading against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in 2022 by launching a campaign to “change the code” of Bitcoin to remove its proof-of-work (PoW) validation mechanism.
The campaign’s goal is to push developers to make Bitcoin a proof-of-stake (PoS) coin instead — like Ethereum, which transitioned from PoW to PoS in 2022.
Bitcoin currently requires astronomical amounts of computing power to validate blocks on its network as miners have been competing for the BTC rewards for well over a decade now. The competitive nature of mining is a double-edged sword as it increases the overall security of the blockchain but it also requires more and more energy to keep the system running.
However, due to the rising costs of electricity across the world in recent years, miners are increasingly turning to off-grid solutions — some of which employ green energy production like solar.