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Kevin O’Leary Explains Why Bitcoin Mining Will “Save the World”

Kevin O’Leary – a Canadian entrepreneur and TV personality – explained why crypto mining will “save the world” at Bitcoin 2022. Despite regulatory concerns about Bitcoin’s carbon footprint, the Shark Tank star argues that the network is “good for the earth”.

The Right Incentives

O’Leary’s keynote speech covered the importance of regulation for crypto, and how it will impact the industry’s growth. He described the SEC as a “minefield” in crypto policy, due to a recent memorandum the commission put forth. It would require that companies claiming “carbon neutral” status undergo carbon emissions audits every quarter.

Until now, most industry participants have bought carbon credits in order to achieve carbon neutrality, if their operations produce GHG. However, the entrepreneur claims that carbon offsets aren’t sufficient evidence of carbon neutrality for a public auditor to approve.

Specifically, because the tracking error on carbon offsets is so large, auditors won’t risk signing off on the company’s statements. They fear being “offside with the SEC”.

“If the SEC adopts that policy, that’s bad for proof of work, and it’s bad for Bitcoin mining,” said O’Leary. “The first pioneers of [mining] in the U.S. were very concerned about being ESG compliant, and they went to that market”.

Conversely, the entrepreneur claimed that the next generation of miners will “save the world”, if this bill reaches implementation. That’s because many miners are starting to work with renewable and sustainable sources, such as nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar.

The trend has been noticeable for many months. Back in July, The Bitcoin Mining Council reported that 67% of energy in the industry came from sustainable sources. Meanwhile, Norway mines 1% of Bitcoin’s hashrate almost entirely with hydroelectric and wind power. According to Arcane, this is because hydroelectric power in Norway’s Northern region is extremely cheap, making mining extra profitable.

O’Leary reiterated this point, highlighting how Bitcoin mining was profitable enough to incentivize the production of machines and turbines.

Waiting for Regulation

Besides Bitcoin mining, he also suggested that there is currently tremendous capital on the “sidelines” seeking out Bitcoin itself. However, unclear policy has “trillion-dollar” pools of capital unwilling to enter the market quite yet.

“When we get policy, and the regulator regulates, that’s not a negative thing,” he said. “The spigots of capital are going to flood into this sector like you’ve never seen.”

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The entrepreneur reportedly had about 10% of his portfolio in crypto, as of November.

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