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TRON founder Justin Sun pledges $1m to Greta Thunberg

By Hugh Wilson

Cryptocurrency entrepreneur tweets offer to Swedish teenage activist after watered- down UN climate-change deal

Controversial cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun has pledged to donate $1m (£764,000, €900,000) to Greta Thunberg’s climate change movement.

The TRON founder tweeted the offer to the teenage Swedish activist on Wednesday, December 18, reaffirming his belief that crypto could play a major part in combating climate change.

Tron’s gesture appears to have come in response to what climate activists have labelled a disappointing outcome to the longest United Nations climate talks on record.

The negotiations, held in Madrid, ended in a compromise deal with calls for higher ambitions thwarted by a range of countries including the US, Brazil, India and China.

But Sun’s move was condemned as a cynical PR stunt by some commentators on Twitter, while others repeated a familiar conspiracy theory that Thunberg is a puppet of global political interests.

More relevantly, a debate rages around the idea – repeated by Sun – that crypto is a force for climate good. Cryptocurrency creation and transaction are power intensive. One study found that Ethereum, which shares much of the same code with TRON, consumes 30,000 times more energy per transaction than VISA.

On the flipside, a study published in June revealed that most Bitcoin mining is powered by renewables. Meanwhile, initiatives to use blockchain for carbon trading are already up and running.

Sun is no stranger to controversy. He won a charity auction on eBay in June to have lunch with well-known crypto-sceptic Warren Buffett, tabling a record $4.5m bid. Sun cancelled days before the meeting.

FURTHER READING: UNICEF now takes Ether and Bitcoin donations

FURTHER READING: How bitcoin mining works

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