Some cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, use a lot of electricity from proof-of-work mining. People known as miners all over the world plug in many many computers in order to mine new coins. The higher the price of Bitcoin, the more people will want to mine it and can do so at a profit. If the price of Bitcoin doubles, then the total energy consumption of Bitcoin will approximately double. Sudden increases in the price make it especially likely that miners will use unsustainable sources of electricity that hurt the environment.
Because the environmental impact of Bitcoin is 98%¹ driven by its price, there is a huge moral difference between investing in or holding proof-of-work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, versus instantly selling them. Gaia Gives instantly liquidates crypto donations. Nonprofits receive grants from Gaia Gives and do not touch the crypto themselves. We do not support holding or investing in any cryptocurrency today, and if we do in the future we plan to only support holding cryptocurrencies that are not proof-of-work and have a low carbon footprint.
Many crypto owners are aware that proof-of-work cryptocurrencies have a large environmental footprint and want to offset it — either by switching to environmentally-friendly protocols like proof-of-stake or donating to environmental organizations. Giving people more options to divest or offset their footprint is important, because cryptocurrency isn't going away. In addition to instantly selling, adjusting your messaging with phrases like "Divest from Bitcoin and Donate Today" can be helpful in dampening investor sentiment, lowering the price, and moving the world away from environmentally harmful, proof-of-work protocols like Bitcoin.