Bitcoin users enthusiastic: Greenpeace fights against Bitcoin with installation

• Installation “Skull of Satoshi” is intended to criticize Bitcoin
• E-waste skulls with laser eyes and chimneys on top
• Community enjoys designing the skull

Terrifying work of art

“Skull of Satoshi” is the name of the installation created by the artist Von Wong in six months on behalf of Greenpeace. Satoshi is the pseudonym of the inventor of what is probably the most famous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, which Greenpeace would like to criticize with the work of art for its high energy consumption: the approximately 3.3 meter high skull was painstakingly handcrafted from recycled polystyrene and then covered with over 300 pieces of electronic waste. The logo of the cryptocurrency is emblazoned in front of a red light in the eye sockets, and instead of hair there are chimneys on the head reminiscent of power plants. With the help of a sophisticated lighting concept, the skull was staged in a demolished building for a photo shoot.


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Humorous reception in the community

However, the Bitcoin community did not perceive the Bitcoin skull as a fearsome warning about the technology and energy consumption associated with the use and mining of the cryptocurrency, but was rather enthusiastic about red glowing eyes and declared the skull to be a kind of mascot . Images of the skull were used as meme templates.

According to Greenpeace and Von Wong, the energy and material consumption of Bitcoin is immense: At 850 kilowatt hours, a single Bitcoin transaction is said to consume as much electricity as an average US household in 29 days, and 480 grams of electronic waste is also said to be generated. A large part of the energy consumption is used to mine the bitcoins, here Greenpeace is committed to switching the process to the more energy-saving proof-of-stake model – similar to what happened with the cryptocurrency Ethereum in September 2022.

criticism of Greenpeace

Even users who deal with the actual message of the “Skull of Satoshi” are not necessarily convinced of Greenpeace’s proposals. Some users, for example, agreed that changing the operating principle would be extremely difficult to carry out, while others judged the energy consumption of Bitcoin to be too low to be important overall. Some users also suspect economic interests behind the Greenpeace campaign:

A co-founder of the payment network Ripple, for example, is said to have made donations in the millions to the environmental protection organization in the past – in order to use them as a tool against the competitor Bitcoin, according to speculation.

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Image sources: jbor /