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No, Bitcoin doesn’t incentivise renewable energy

People who are super into Bitcoin are really into recasting it as more than just another speculative asset. It’s incredible. This pursuit, like Bitcoin itself, is also a waste of energy.

In among artists making NFT artworks to fight climate change (a real head scratcher) Jack Dorsey has put in some work on Twitter:

#bitcoin  incentivizes renewable energy

Elon Musk, of course, agreed.

This is, of course, incorrect. Thankfully Maciej Cegłowski has done all the important work of blithely dismissing it for us:

This is like when I drank all your beer and told you I was incentivizing home brewing

Bitcoin is notable for how astonishingly not-good it is for the environment due to energy use. It’d be great if it ran exclusively on renewable energy. But that doesn’t mean Bitcoin “incentivises” renewable energy anymore than, say, coal mining does.

This is another attempt to recast Bitcoin in a positive light, as if it contributes anything productive to society beyond being another asset for people to speculate on.

That’s not to say that Bitcoin (or the tech that powers it) can’t become a positive part of life. It can and I hope it does. But it’s not right now. And it certainly isn’t doing anything for renewables.

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