Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox internet browser, is aiming to placate its eco-conscious community by only accepting proof-of-stake (PoS) cryptocurrency donations. The company had frozen all crypto donations in January. But now, after a review to gauge community emotions and conduct research on crypto energy usage, the company has reopened them. Among the changes, the company said it will not accept proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies, which require more energy. This means that crypto donations such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and others will not be accepted.
PoW coins are energy inefficient since they require high-end technology and mining devices to function. These mining centres subsequently emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, which has a negative impact on the environment.
In a blogpost, the company it was updating its donation policy. The changes include — “Mozilla will no longer accept ‘proof-of-work' cryptocurrencies, which are more energy-intensive. Mozilla will accept ‘proof-of-stake' cryptocurrencies, which are less energy intensive. Mozilla will develop and share a list of cryptocurrencies we accept by the end of Q2 2022.”
Mozilla pledged in January 2021 to drastically reduce its greenhouse gas footprint year over year, with the goal of exceeding the Paris Climate Agreement's net-zero emissions objective. The first change to the company's donation policy was aimed at fulfilling that.
The company said that its decision to refuse PoW donations ensured that its fundraising efforts were in line with its carbon reduction goals.
By rejecting all non-PoS crypto, Mozilla is effectively barring both Bitcoin and Ether.
According to data from blockchain researchers at Digiconomist, Bitcoin consumes around 204.5 Terawatt hours (TWh) of energy every year. However, the actual impact on the climate is far more debatable. Proponents argue that by securing the network, miners are helping to strengthen energy grids and reduce carbon emissions and that companies are increasingly transitioning to renewable energy.
Ethereum is nearing a major update that would alter its infrastructure and reduce energy use by 99 percent. Ethereum developers intend to accomplish this by switching from PoW to PoS architecture. However, it is currently unknown when the shift will take place. At present, Ethereum uses the PoW method.