The company behind the Firefox internet browser Mozilla is attempting to appease its environmentally-conscious community by accepting only proof-of-stake (PoS) crypto donations.
The company initially halted all crypto donations in January but has now opened them back up after a review period to assess community sentiments and conduct research on crypto energy usage.
PoS blockchains consume less than 1% as much electricity as Bitcoin, although they vary among themselves in efficiency as demonstrated by a February report.
Mozilla announced in a blog that after a review, it was changing its donations policies to come in line with its “climate commitments.” It said that: “Mozilla will no longer accept ‘proof-of-work’ cryptocurrencies, which are more energy intensive.”
“proof-of-work cryptocurrencies can significantly increase our GHG footprint due to their energy intensive nature.”
The company also said that the move was made based on its self-imposed Jan. 2021 climate commitments which aim for it to “significantly reduce our greenhouse gas footprint year over year” until it becomes carbon-neutral.
“Mozilla’s decision not to accept proof-of-work donations ensures that our fundraising activities remain aligned with our emissions commitment.”
By rejecting all non-PoS crypto, Mozilla is blocking both Bitcoin (BTC), the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and Ether (ETH) — at least until the Merge occurs in the coming months and that blockchain adopts PoS.
Mozilla stated that it would release a list of accepted cryptocurrencies by the end of Q2, 2022. Some native coins from the most popular PoS chains include BNB (BNB), Solana (SOL) and Avalanche (AVAX).
Among the most vocal detractors of Mozilla’s new crypto donations policy was Mozilla’s own founder, Jamie Zawinski. He tweeted on Jan. 4 that those at Mozilla who are complicit with accepting Bitcoin “should be witheringly ashamed” to partner with the “planet-incinerating ponzi grifters.” Zawinski stopped working at Mozilla in 1999.
Gabor Gurbacs, director of digital strategy at American investment firm VanEck, had harsh criticism for Mozilla’s decision to block Bitcoin donations. In a Tuesday tweet, he called the move “misguided and virtue signaling in nature,” adding that “Bitcoin is one of the greenest industries out there.”
While Bitcoin annually consumes about 204.5 Terawatt hours (TWh) of energy, according to data from blockchain researchers at Digiconomist, the actual effect on the climate is much more contested. Proponents contest that miners that secure the network are helping to strengthen energy grids and improve carbon efficiency while operations themselves are increasingly switching to renewable energy.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph last month, flexible data centers can be used for Bitcoin mining. Flexible data centers can switch between self-generated green energy and tapping into the public grid to reduce the overall environmental impact and stress on the public energy grid.
Related: Marathon Digital moves Montana BTC mine to pursue carbon neutrality
Crypto storage company Blockstream and Jack Dorsey’s Bitcoin development firm Block announced on Friday that they would work with Elon Musk’s Tesla to build a solar-powered BTC mining facility in Texas, the new hotbed of clean energy mining operations.