Why did the Ripple co-founder contribute $5 million to “green” Bitcoin?

On Tuesday, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen launched a campaign to change bitcoin’s code, calling for a reduction in bitcoin’s environmental impact, which caused a lot of controversy in the crypto community. He is working with Greenpeace and Sierra Club, and is contributing $5 million to a campaign called “Changing the Code, Not the Climate” to call attention to Bitcoin’s energy use.

Why did the Ripple co-founder contribute  million to "green" Bitcoin?

According to Bloomberg, the goal is to pressure the Bitcoin community to transition from power-intensive proof-of-work mining to a proof-of-stake system that uses less energy.

At first glance, Larsen’s proposal looks appealing. The environmental impact of proof-of-work mining is perhaps Bitcoin’s most substantial shortcoming and a continuing headwind for the general public perception of the cryptocurrency. For example, rhetoric of environmental destruction has sparked significant and sometimes false hostility towards NFTs in the art world.

But industry leaders and observers see the proposal as very risky, completely unrealistic, and possibly even absurd. What’s more, Larsen’s motives for making the proposal are highly questionable: after all, as a co-founder of Ripple, he can be said to have been hostile to Bitcoin for the past decade.

great risk

The first problem with Larsen’s proposal is that converting Bitcoin to a proof-of-stake mechanism would involve incredible risks. The change would be fundamental and it may not be possible through a traditional “hard fork” in which some network members use incompatible versions of Bitcoin’s software. Hard forks have been used to create modified versions of Bitcoin before, most prominently in the 2017 split of Bitcoin Cash from Bitcoin.

Why did the Ripple co-founder contribute  million to "green" Bitcoin?

But Bitcoin Cash and similar forks only change technical parameters already defined in the proof-of-work system, such as block size. Proof-of-stake systems operate on fundamentally different security architectures, so Bitcoin based on proof-of-stake may involve a redesign, rather than changing existing parameters. This is not just a “fork”, but a more complex project.

Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake shows what this might look like. Ethereum 2.0 will not be a direct continuation of the current Ethereum chain, but a transition to the management of the new system. The new system’s “beacon chain” has been running in parallel with Ethereum 1.0 for years, and the merger of the two has been carefully managed by a strong core team of Ethereum companies and developers.

It is nearly impossible for a similarly consistent and influential group to emerge to govern this transition in Bitcoin, and one reason for this is a distrust of proof-of-stake security itself. Bitcoin advocate Gigi tweeted: “Proof of stake is not only insecure, it is completely meaningless. Without proof of work, any system would be political.”

Why did the Ripple co-founder contribute  million to "green" Bitcoin?

In the event of a major network change, the interests and goals of many can diverge dramatically. For example, Bitcoin miners spend millions of dollars buying specialized chips called ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) for proof-of-work mining, and it is simply impossible to support proof-of-stake conversions.

Also, truly transitioning Bitcoin to a new model may require convincing all these miners to stop scaling the proof-of-work chain. This, in turn, requires convincing exchanges around the world to stop trading tokens from proof-of-work chains — an almost impossible task.

intense controversy

These realities help explain why Larsen’s proposal has not only been opposed by Bitcoin proponents, but has also been met with fierce personal rejection. Like Twitter or Facebook, Bitcoin relies heavily on “network effects” – the more useful it is, the more people use it. While a proposal like Larsen’s is unlikely to convince every Bitcoin user to switch to the new proof-of-stake system, it could shake some of them and spark a “hard fork” in the community.

Such a split could weaken Bitcoin, and Larsen’s background appears to have sparked speculation about its true intentions. Over the past decade, Ripple seems to have often argued that the XRP token created by its co-founder is a superior system to Bitcoin, and the company has sold more than $1.3 billion in tokens to the public.

This has led to a massive, ongoing battle with the SEC and has created a persistent hostility among many Bitcoin proponents against Larsen and the entire Ripple organization, which many believe are inherently deeply sympathetic to Bitcoin. hostility.

Ryan Selkis, founder of encrypted data provider Messari, responded to news about the initiative, declaring that “Ripple’s executives are scumbags,” slamming Larsen for the lack of sincerity in the initiative, suggesting its real motive was to promote Ripple’s XRP token .

Why did the Ripple co-founder contribute  million to "green" Bitcoin?

Prominent bitcoiner Jameson Lopp also questioned Larsen’s sincerity, pointing out that Larsen did not submit proposals to the Github website, which people use to suggest and implement changes to bitcoin’s code.

Eric Voorhees, founder of crypto firm ShapeShift and an early Bitcoin influencer, also said Larsen’s call to change Bitcoin’s code was unrealistic and doomed to fail.

Why did the Ripple co-founder contribute  million to "green" Bitcoin?

In an interview with Bloomberg, Larsen said, “If I see Bitcoin as a competitor, then the best thing I can do is to keep Bitcoin going down this path…but it’s an unsustainable path. “

Meanwhile, Larsen seems to have expected hostility to his proposal and apologized to Ripple’s PR team for causing them a lot of trouble.

Why did the Ripple co-founder contribute  million to "green" Bitcoin?

Ultimately, the backlash against Larsen’s proposal by Bitcoin proponents suggests that calling for a move to proof-of-stake won’t change anything and will only deepen the rift between Ripple and Bitcoin proponents.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/why-did-the-ripple-co-founder-contribute-5-million-to-green-bitcoin/
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