It appears that Jack Dorsey – the man behind Facebook competitor Twitter and payment processor Square – and Elon Musk, the South African entrepreneur responsible for bringing both Tesla and SpaceX to the mix, agree on one thing. That thing is the future and power of bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin Mining Is the Center of Many Arguments
In a recent tweet, Dorsey commented that bitcoin “incentivizes” renewable energy. From there, he received a response from Musk which simply read “true.” The discussion is garnering mixed reactions from several analysts and critics, who appear to be split right down the middle on the verdict.
On the one hand, several members of the financial and environmental communities claim that this was a simple attempt to “greenwash” the bitcoin space and feel that there is nothing renewable about bitcoin mining, which has been the subject of controversy for some time. There are many figures out there that seem to think bitcoin mining is causing great harm to Earth’s atmosphere. They feel it is leaving a carbon footprint on the planet that will be practically irreversible in the future.
While their concerns are likely cemented in stone, there is one thing that they seem to be forgetting, and that is not all crypto mining operations hail from the same sources. For example, it appears that most of the world’s mining firms are stationed in China, which is not a country that has paid attention to renewable energy much in the past. China still relies heavily on fossil fuels and coal, and thus these resources power its ongoing bitcoin operations.
With so many China-based firms relying on fossil fuels to get the work done, there is likely a heavy amount of pollution and energy usage coming from this region of the world. However, you have other portions of the planet – such as Europe’s Icelandic region – that appear to be utilizing hydroelectricity and other green technology to extract new coins. While this area may not be as large as China, it is a step in the right direction and seems to be moving against the efforts of China and Asia.
Either way, many have fought against the idea of further bitcoin mining given that it now allegedly requires more energy than countries such as Argentina and Ireland. In addition, the carbon footprint left behind by bitcoin mining is equal to the one stemming from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Maybe Things Aren’t That Bad
Dorsey’s tweet came moments after a whitepaper was released by both Square and ARK Invest, a global asset management business, which appears to argue that crypto mining leads to “unique energy” buying. The document states:
By combining miners with renewables and storage projects, we believe it could improve the returns for project investors and developers, moving more solar and wind projects into profitable territory.