Experts call bitcoin more environmentally friendly than petrodollar

May 20, 2021


The petrodollar, backed by the U.S. military, threatens the environment more than mining the first cryptocurrency. That’s what Alex Gladstein, director of strategy at the Human Rights Foundation, and David Energy co-founder James McGinnis said on the Unchained podcast.

According to Forbes, the U.S. military used up to 1 million barrels of oil daily in 2017. If the DOD were a country, a similar level of consumption made it 55th in the world in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

Gladstein and McGinnis called bitcoin’s energy intensity a feature that “creates security.”

“Technologically speaking, that’s what makes bitcoin so fantastic,”


Gladstein recalled that there is an important moral argument in favor of the first cryptocurrency:

“There are 1.2 billion people who are living with inflation at double- and triple-digit rates. There are 4.3 billion people who live under authoritarianism. […] Let those who say bitcoin has no social value use the Sudanese pound for a year and then tell me that bitcoin’s value is exaggerated or does not exist.

A representative of the Human Rights Foundation called digital gold a competitor to the world’s reserve currency. In his opinion, the ultimate goal of the asset is to replace the petrodollar.

Earlier, Tesla suspended sales of electric cars for bitcoins due to concerns about the environmental friendliness of mining. The CEO of a rival company, Henrik Fisker, expressed a similar opinion, ruling out investment in the cryptocurrency and its support as a means of payment.

Gladstein and McGinnis suggested that Ilon Musk’s decision is a reaction “to bad PR” from people who see mining of digital assets as a threat to the environment. According to experts, environmentalists should criticize the businessman and his company for supporting the U.S. dollar, but not for investing in the first cryptocurrency.

In May 2021, Toronto Stock Exchange bitcoin-ETF provider Ninepoint Partners announced plans to devote a portion of the management fee it receives to reducing its carbon footprint.

Starting in June, the mining company Greenidge Generation will begin transferring funds to a portfolio of greenhouse gas reduction projects. The firm also plans to allocate a portion of its profits to building renewable energy generation capacity.

As a reminder, Galaxy Digital analysts estimated that bitcoin miners spend 113.89 TWh of electricity annually, which is lower than gold production and the banking sector.

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About the author

Hi there, my name is Zalman Weinberg. I'm enthusiast with over 7 years of experience in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Professional Trader providing Blockchain solutions to Startups and Enterprises. Expert in all cryptocurrency exchange APIs (BitMEX, Bittrex, Binance, Bitfinex, Kraken, Poloniex, Gdax etc.). I have also worked with multiple Forex broker APIs.

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