Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus has slammed Mozilla for pausing cryptocurrency donations amid environmental concerns.
Mozilla, the nonprofit behind the Firefox internet browser, has accepted crypto donations since 2014. Last week, Mozilla tweeted a seemingly innocuous reminder of this fact, but since 2014, the world has become far more aware of the crypto industry's carbon footprint.
As such, the nonprofit has been met with a wave of criticism.
"Hi, I'm sure that whoever runs this account has no idea who I am, but I founded Mozilla, and I'm here to say fuck you and fuck this. Everyone involved in the project should be witheringly ashamed of this decision to partner with planet incinerating Ponzi-grifters," said Mozilla co-founder Jamie Zawinski.
The backlash was so intense, Mozilla even went as far as pausing the ability for users to donate in crypto.
The pause caused even more backlash, this time from the world of crypto.
"Thank you for succumbing to an ignorant, reactionary internet mob," tweeted the Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus.
"Wait 'til them guys hear about the environment cost of paper dollars and the entire banking infrastructure, I am sure they will have the same level of meltdown about their own constant environmental impact."
to be clear, we should care about the environment, just y’know, recognize that if we are living in a first world country and whining on Twitter, we are pretty terrible for the planet, and stop trying to act like everything is the worst thing ever and we are all saints
— Shibetoshi Nakamoto (@BillyM2k) January 7, 2022
Of course, this internet mob is not ignorant—the cryptocurrency industry carries with it an immense environmental impact.
Bitcoin, Dogecoin and the environment
Cryptocurrencies that require proof of work consensus mechanisms consume eye-popping amounts of electricity.
Bitcoin, the world's flagship cryptocurrency, consumes approximately 120 terawatt-hours of energy per year. This is a higher level of electricity consumption than what you would find in most of the world's countries.
According to Cambridge University, only 39% of the world's Bitcoin network is powered by renewable energy. The rest of it—about two-thirds—runs on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Calculating the resulting carbon footprint of this energy consumption depends on where the energy comes from in the first place.
This, in turn, results in greenhouse gas emissions broadly equivalent to 9.3 million homes' electricity use for one year, 57.1 billion pounds of burned coal, or 130 billion miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.
Bitcoin is the worst culprit, but it is far from the only one. According to Digiconomist, a platform "dedicated to exposing the unintended consequences of digital trends," the Ethereum network currently consumes about 105 TWh per year. Again, this is more energy consumption than most of the world's countries.