Over the past few months, Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teen, has been traversing the world to warn world leaders and to inspire young individuals about climate change.
Her efforts have been controversial, with many in the public spotlight, including President Donald Trump, feeling forced to take sides on the debate of sustainability and environmentalism.
Members of the cryptocurrency community, of course, have also taken sides. Interestingly, many in this community have expressed skepticism towards Thunberg’s efforts, which resulted in TIME Magazine naming her the person of the year for 2019.
Their thesis: combating climate change puts further control into the hands of governments and corporations, something antithetical to the whole movement of decentralization.
Though, it seems that one prominent member of this industry is taking her side. The member, the also-controversial Justin Sun, founder of the Tron cryptocurrency project and chief executive of torrenting service BitTorrent, which he acquired.
Tron’s Sun Throws Weight Behind Thunberg
Announced in a tweet published Wednesday, Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun revealed that he will be donating $1 million U.S. to Greta Thunberg’s climate initiatives, citing his similar underlying goal to “change the world.” It currently isn’t clear how Sun will be donating the money, or if Thunberg will accept donations made in Tron or other cryptocurrencies.
Sun elaborated that he thinks that cryptocurrencies will be integral in “reducing carbon footprint by implementing decentralized settlement.”
As a young entrepreneur, I share @GretaThunberg’s passion to change the world. Crypto will contribute immensely on reducing carbon footprint by implementing decentralized settlement. I would like to personally commit USD$1 Mil to @GretaThunberg ’s initiative. #cop25
— H.E. Justin Sun 孙宇晨 (@justinsuntron) December 18, 2019
What Sun means by this isn’t exactly clear, though some disagree with the overall sentiment that Bitcoin and other blockchain are green technologies.
As reported by Blockonomi, Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of major cloud computing and virtual machine company VMWare, told Fortune Magazine earlier this year that BTC is a threat to humanity due to its high level of energy consumption.
In fact, he suggested that it is an active contributor to the ongoing “climate crisis” that many scientists and politicians actively discuss:
“It takes the energy of a home, half-a-home a day, to do a single entry into a Bitcoin ledger.”
Whatever the case, Sun believes that cryptocurrencies will aid the purported climate change crisis, and hence donated $1 million to a top activist in the field.
Far From First Crypto Charity Case
This has far from the first time a wealthy cryptocurrency holder has used their gains to make an impact on the world that is arguably “good.”
Per previous reports from Blockonomi, a group of “ordinary” though anonymous people (seeming crypto whales) in November revealed what they called “Unknown Fund.” The fund’s premise was to donate some $75 million worth of Bitcoin to companies and non-profits looking to aid privacy rights:
“The anonymous organisation Unknown Fund has announced that it intends to invest and donate $75 million in bitcoin to startups which directly or indirectly support the idea of anonymity. Preference will be given to the following niches: protection of personal data, tools for anonymity, cryptocurrency and blockchain.”
The Unknown Fund’s operators claimed that privacy and data safety is one of the most important issued hurting humanity at the moment, citing the Cambridge Analytica debacle and others like it. The Fund has purportedly since made all donations to the firms perpetuating the values of privacy, though it isn’t clear what companies have received donations.
This venture was rather reminiscent of a user going by “Pineapple,” who donated dozens of millions to a number of charities and non-profits to help the causes of education, water safety, and others after they became rich during 2017’s Bitcoin bull run.
Also, Brian Armstrong of Coinbase and cryptocurrency billionaire and BitMEX founder Ben Delo have pledged to give away a vast majority of their wealth through a Bill Gates and Warren Buffett initiative, the Giving Pledge.