Institutions have not really engaged with Bitcoin as a property, or so says Kevin O’Leary, the Canadian businessman and recent political candidate. The future of Bitcoin, according to O’Leary will see two types of Bitcoin, the “blood coin” from China, and a “clean coin” that is mined sustainably.
These recent comments from the Canadian investor in a CNBC interview come on the back of a strong sentiment from mainstream media regarding the enormous energy consumption that mining Bitcoin requires. O’Leary claims that institutions will not buy Bitcoin that is mined in China, or mined using coal for electricity.
As China is the leading country in terms of the volume of Bitcoin mining, where two thirds of power is from coal, one of the concerns that O’Leary brings up in the interview is that apart from the carbon emissions, there is a “human rights issue”.
“You have got this asset class held in limbo in a remarkable struggle. Every day I deal with it. Everybody asks me where it comes from, so now I’m not buying bitcoin unless I know where it was mined, when it was mined, and the provenance of it. Not in China, no blood coin for me.”
The University of Cambridge has suggested that the total energy consumption of bitcoin annually is more than 121 terawatt-hours (TWh), making it a top 30 electricity consumer worldwide if it were a country.
Despite recent institutional support from the likes of PayPal, Tesla, JP Morgan, and the asset class increasing in value over the past year, O’Leary claims that the issues of sustainability and human rights issues will hinder the institutional support of cryptocurrency.
Hydroelectricity is the favoured clean energy provider for many energy efficient companies, and this is also the favoured choice for crypto. Countries such as Iceland and Norway are already making use of hydroelectric and geothermal energy to power their Bitcoin mining machines. And the demand for clean bitcoin has resulted in a number of leading blockchain companies using energy efficient blockchains, including Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin who recently launched a 99.9% energy efficient platform for NFTs.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.