Nic Carter is a Partner at Castle Island Ventures and co-founder and Chairman of Coin Metrics. In this interview, we discuss the White House bitcoin mining research paper, regulation and the role of renewables in the energy mix.
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In September, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published a study which looked into the climate impacts of bitcoin mining.
The report successfully acknowledged the differences between PoS and PoW, the contribution of bitcoin mining to grid flexibility & demand response and the potential to unlock stranded renewables, but the rest of the report offers little, if any merit.
Overall, the findings in this report were quite damning. The report relies on non-peer-reviewed and often totally flawed data from the likes of De Vries and Digiconomist and even cites the absurd 2018 Mora et al paper. As Nic says in his article, “The Mora reference is shocking. It’s a bit like reading a scientific government report on the history of the moon landing and finding a reference to a conspiracy website claiming that the entire thing was faked.”
With papers like this from the White House, the New York Mining Moratorium Bill and general growing disdain for Bitcoin mining, the US risks giving up its headstart. It is the country with the most to lose, and as we saw when China banned mining, Bitcoin is totally agnostic, and by banning, or overregulating, America won’t hurt bitcoin, only itself. “If you ban it, you empower your enemies, like Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea. If you embrace it, you directly hurt them, and give their citizens tools to free themselves from those oppressive regimes.”