BTC should move from proof-of-work, says Ripple’s exec chairman

22 Apr 2021

Bitcoin needs to abandon proof-of-work (PoW) in order to stay dominant on the world stage, says executive chairman of Ripple, Chris Larsen.

In a blog published on Thursday, Larsen said the proof-of-work consensus mechanism is a huge drain on power consumption and a “growing source” of CO2 emissions.

As such, he said that core developers, miners and exchanges should look into distancing themselves from this mechanism to an option less harmful to the environment.

Larsen stated: “Cryptocurrencies that use PoW should consider a code change to another validation method such as Proof-of-Stake (PoS) or Federated Consensus (or something yet to be developed).”

In regard to the PoW consensus mechanism, Bitcoin’s current draw totals an average of 113 TWh a year, Coindesk reports, enough to power 12 million U.S. homes.

The data from Cambridge University also shows the impact on the environment is sizeable, with around 63 million tons of carbon dioxide released each year.

Larsen went on to say: “We should see PoW for what it is — a brilliantly designed technology that is becoming outdated in today’s world. In no way does this suggest that Bitcoin and other PoW cryptos themselves are outdated. Their widespread adoption speaks for itself. But they need to separate themselves from this early technology that is not built for today’s climate needs, and embrace low energy/low carbon alternatives to secure their ledgers.

“On this Earth Day, the crypto community has much to celebrate. The industry is overwhelmingly motivated by a sense of progress, fairness, and good intentions. There are many advocates — from the Bitcoin community and others — that are vocal about addressing climate change and transitioning to a 100% renewable future,” he added.