MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor Defends Bitcoins Environmental Impact: “Most Efficient, Cleanest Industrial Use Of Electricity”
MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) Executive Chairman Michael Saylor defends bitcoin anew regarding its impact on the environment, amid the recent transition of Ethereum to proof of stake mining.
In a blog article, the bitcoin maximalist outlined his points to support his thesis that the digital asset has no negative effect on the environment. Rather, “bitcoin is quite beneficial to the environment.”
“Bitcoin runs on stranded, excess energy, generated at the edge of the grid, in places where there is no other demand, at times when no one else needs the electricity,” Saylor argued. He further added that the world “produces more energy than it needs, and approximately a third of this energy is wasted.” The tech chair cited that 0.15% of total energy is all the bitcoin network needs to power itself.
A school of thought estimates bitcoin’s energy consumption is at par to that of a small country. But defenders of the digital asset like Saylor reiterate that the mining’s energy source mostly comes from green sources.
“Bitcoin mining is the most efficient, cleanest industrial use of electricity, and is improving its energy efficiency at the fastest rate across any major industry,” he added. According to Saylor, metrics have shown that roughly 59.5% of energy for “bitcoin mining comes from sustainable sources.”
“No other industry comes close,” he further argued.
Saylor also noted that the value of the output for bitcoin “is 100x the cost of the energy input,” making it “far less energy intensive than Google, Netflix, or Facebook.”
Ethereum’s upgrade to a proof-of-stake consensus system arguably lessens the environment impact of digital asset mining compared to a proof-of-work model like bitcoin’s.
The MicroStrategy chair however disputed the argument, saying that “the only proven technique for creating a digital commodity is Proof of Work deployed in a fair, equitable fashion.”
“Regulators & legal experts have noted on many occasions that Proof of Stake networks are likely securities, not commodities, and we can expect them to be treated as such over time,” Saylor argued, adding that it “makes no sense” to compare the mechanism to that of bitcoin.
“The creation of a digital commodity without an issuer that serves as “digital gold” is an innovation. The creation of a digital security or digital coupon on a shared database is utterly ordinary,” he further noted.
Saylor also added that bitcoin is beneficial to the environment “because it can be deployed to monetize stranded natural gas or methane gas energy sources,” as well as “develop grid resilience” for green energy that depend on unreliable sources due to lack of water, sunlight, or wind.
“Bitcoin mining can bring a clean, profitable and modern industry that generates hard currency to a remote location in the developing world, connected only via satellite link. All that is needed is some excess electricity generated from a waterfall, geothermal source, or miscellaneous excess energy deposit,” he said.
“Bitcoin is an egalitarian financial asset offering financial inclusion to all, and bitcoin mining is an egalitarian technology industry offering commercial inclusion to anyone with the energy & engineering capability to operate a mining center,” Saylor ended.
MicroStrategy last traded at US$234.58 on the Nasdaq.
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