Nic Carter is a Partner at Castle Island Ventures, and Troy Cross is a Fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute. In this interview, we discuss Bitcoin mining as an ESG offset and how Bitcoin miners could be the frontier of energy development whilst helping nations attain energy sovereignty.
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The two extremes of the climate change debate are engaged in a zero-sum game.
For some, the existential threat of climate change requires humans to rapidly transition to energy production 100% derived from renewable sources. A particular contingent believes a transition is required by force: a carbon tax to dissuade investment in fossil fuels and a degrowth agenda to enable society to prioritise the use of more limited but sustainable energy sources.
The counterargument is that catastrophic climate change isn’t inevitable. Therefore, whilst there are insufficient cost-effective and reliable renewable energy sources, constraining the use of fossil fuels is a dangerous dogma that risks preventing vast swathes of the world from being able to escape poverty.
Does the argument need to be this binary? Is there an alternative that uses the power of the market rather than relying on coercive measures?
If we assume that if energy sources were equally cost-effective and reliable, the obvious choice would be to invest in those that are renewable and that have the lowest negative impacts. The issue would then be how do you make renewable energy cost-effective and reliable. The answer is counterintuitive: meet what those who promote fossil fuels want – facilitate energy abundance.
Troy Cross thinks this is how Bitcoin can help bridge the divide, enable a rapid transition to renewable sources, whilst ensuring the world’s population can flourish.