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Dogecoin Co-creator Says Didn't Think of its Environmental Impact as He Made it in Two Hours

Dogecoin. (Image: Reuters)

Dogecoin. (Image: Reuters)

Elon Musk recently slammed the use of energy-intensive techniques to mint and transact in cryptocurrencies and announced that Tesla will no longer be accepting Bitcoin payments.

Dogecoin Co-creator Says Didn’t Think of its Environmental Impact as He Made it in Two HoursDays after Tesla CEO Elon Musk mounted criticism against cryptocurrency by publicly denouncing the “insane” amount of energy used to produce Bitcoin on, Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus has revealed that he created the crypto in just two hours and that at the time, he gave no thought to environmental concerns. The admission came following the raging debate about the energy efficacy of cryptocurrency and the harm they are causing the environment due to the heavily carbon-intensive energy required to generate the electricity for successfully ‘minting’ crypto or carrying out crypto transactions.

On Thursday, Musk took to Twitter and highlight the environmental fallout of using energy-intensive cryptos like Bitcoin, crypto that the SpaceX CEO has formerly backed. Musk also announced that from now onward, Tesla, which started accepting payments for cars in Bitcoin earlier in March, will be discontinuing the practice.

Amid the debate, Markus who co-created Dogecoin eight years ago, admitted that at the time of its creation, environmental concerns were the last thing on his mind. Reacting to Musk’s tweet, Markus who goes by the name Shibetoshi Nakamoto on Twitter, posted a crying face emoji. When he was asked by another Twitter user if he considered the impact his creation would have on the environment,
Markus revealed that he made Doge in two hours and that he didn’t “consider anything”.

Following the tweets, Musk tweeted later in the day that he was working with the creators of Dogecoin – the meme-crypto with the face of a Shiba Inu – to increase the energy efficacy of system transactions.

While Musk’s tweets have led to renewed debates about ‘green’ crypto, the intense energy use by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was previously highlighted in the report ‘Bitcoin’s Dirty Little Secrets’. The Bank of America research report which was released on March 17, 2021, said that the CO2 emissions tied to the world’s biggest cryptocurrency are equal to that of Greece. Warning its customers and investors, BofA said that Bitcoin’s energy consumption is almost at par with that of major corporations like American Airlines, which caters to over 200 million passengers every year, and even the entire US federal government, which employs 2 million people. Data collected by the University of Cambridge and the International Energy Agency also indicate a significant spike in 2021 for the Bitcoin energy consumption levels.

Some Tesla investors and environmental campaigners have been increasingly critical about the way bitcoin is created or “mined”, high-powered computers compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles in an energy-intensive process that often relies on fossil fuels, particularly coal.

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first published:May 16, 2021, 17:03 IST