Troy Cross is a Professor of Philosopher and Fellow at BPI, & Shaun Connell is Executive VP of Power at Lancium & energy trading expert. In this interview, we discuss the evolution of the Bitcoin mining and energy debate: how Bitcoin mining has weathered the storm of FUD over its energy usage to become a tool that fixes an ever-increasing number of energy-related issues.
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Roy Sheinfeld, CEO of Breez, last week used the following analogy to highlight expanding knowledge of the Lightning Network’s application: “The first industrial use of steam engines was to pump water out of mines, but nobody talks about that because the engines were stationary and hidden in the dark. Three generations later, inventors started adding wheels to the engines. Setting that power free and bringing it into the light made everyone take notice, and that’s when steam changed everything.”
The same applies to the whole Bitcoin ecosystem, particularly in relation to Bitcoin mining. Since 2019, there has been a growing realisation that Bitcoin provides a multitude of benefits to producers, operators and consumers of energy. There are also an increasing number of ancillary applications being realised in other areas. So, is it time for Bitcoiners to become more emboldened in their advocacy of Bitcoin mining?
There’s an available body of evidence showing the important role that Bitcoin mining is playing in supporting Texas’s energy grid. It is right to state that some of the resultant conclusions seem counterintuitive i.e. how can an energy user assist with energy supply? However, it merely takes an open mind, a willingness to question, and a capacity to learn, to realise that Bitcoin mining provides an important societal good.
Paradigm shifts are always met with suspicion. The issue is we’re on the right side of history. Therefore, should we use someone’s views on Bitcoin mining as a test of their intelligence and humility? Is it time to be more assertive in responding to those who refuse to believe their eyes and ears? After all, they are the ones who refuse to be humble.