Skip to main content

Select your location

image showing stocks

China and Musk add impetus to the Bitcoin sustainability drive

  • 03 August 2021

China’s war on cryptocurrency has thrust the sustainability debate to the fore once again. We’ve seen the country clamp down on crypto a number of times over the years, but its most recent attack cut the network’s hash power by 40% and the currency’s value by 50% globally. One might assume that spells catastrophe for both, but, in actual fact, Bitcoin is doing just fine—and it’s good news for a future of financial freedom.

The network is still operating as normal, instantaneous transactions are still taking place without a hitch and entire countries are adopting it as legal tender.

The sheer resilience with which Bitcoin has adapted to such a significant shift to its infrastructure is precisely why it’s a sustainable network of value for the global population. It’s built to withstand adversity, whether it concerns challenges to governmental control or threats to environmental health, so mining bans from the likes of China will only ever serve to highlight how resilient it is by design.

As we’ve seen with this story, the argument against the leading cryptoasset is typically framed around the vast amounts of energy it takes to mine it. There’s no denying that the numbers are high, but what gets overlooked is that most of that energy already comes from renewable sources like flared gas, geothermal and hydroelectric. It’s why we’re seeing “the great mining migration” to Texas as a result of the ban in China.

Bitcoin has, in fact, been growing increasingly sustainable since its inception in 2009 and it will continue as such until ~2140 when every BTC will have been mined, which presents a significant commercial opportunity for business leaders to join a financial network that offers resilience for the future.

The mining of bitcoin relies on extremely cheap energy consumption and is a bounty for the world’s cheapest energy every 10 minutes, so, by its very nature, it can incentivize sustainability for corporations. As more and more people join the Bitcoin network—indeed, it is growing at a rate quicker than that of the Internet in the late-1990s—there is an increasing amount of potential for businesses to be a part of that sustainability drive and not be left behind by it.

There is plenty of misinformation surrounding Bitcoin’s energy consumption and the activities emanating from China and Elon Musk’s Twitter account certainly don’t do much to dispel it; they do, however, give Bitcoin a bigger platform to prove that it is not a long-term threat to the planet and, at the same time, that it is an immediate and necessary threat to the centralized control of governments.

Not if, but when...

Musk's tweeting and China's ban might appear to have had a detrimental effect on the value of bitcoin, but the long-term effects of the free PR will prove to be positive when more of the world’s population knows of its potential as a freedom-driven financial system.

Tesla’s eventual change in tone smacked of misinformation in the first place; now, instead of boycotting it for environmental reasons, the company will “resume allowing bitcoin transactions” for its customers when there’s a “positive future trend” for the use of clean energy by miners. Someone ought to let Elon know that that positive future trend already exists.

There will never be a better time for businesses to plug into the network than now—its usership has been growing exponentially year-on-year, but we’re still only at 2% adoption amongst the world’s population.

The energy debate has dominated headlines a number of times in its 12-year history and only ever served to strengthen its appeal to a global audience; perspective, as with any disruptive technology, has proved to be more powerful than any governmental ban or organizational jerk of the knee.

Bitcoin is an incentive for corporations to be cleaner 

The fact that mining BTC relies on cheap energy consumption means that the market will be incentivized to deliver cheaper power sources for miners to use, which, in turn, will lead to new sources of energy that previously weren’t thought possible. El Salvador is already calling for a plan to allow miners to use the abundance of geothermal energy from its volcanoes.

Alongside the continued growth of public adoption, this will lead to a future in which corporations are incentivized to use cleaner energy because their integration with the Bitcoin network is a source of profit.

The sustainability and resilience of Bitcoin is perfectly aligned with our values as a B Corp at Kin + Carta. If you’d like to learn more, download our whitepaper here and discover the five stages of adoption of the Internet of value.

Web 3.0: Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptoassets

Download our whitepaper