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Bill Ackman sparks broad discussion on Bitcoin’s energy use

Bill Ackman sparks broad discussion on Bitcoin’s energy use

Bill Ackman, a well-regarded investor and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, outlined a hypothetical scenario that has sparked intense debate among crypto enthusiasts, economists, and environmentalists.

Ackman’s comments touched on several critical issues, including the sustainability of Bitcoin mining, its implications for global energy consumption, and the broader economic consequences of a rising reliance on cryptocurrencies.

He tweeted:

“A scenario: Bitcoin price rise leads to increased mining and greater energy use, driving up the cost of energy, causing inflation to rise and the dollar to decline, driving demand for Bitcoin and increased mining, driving demand for energy and the cycle continues. Bitcoin goes to infinity, energy prices skyrocket, and the economy collapses. Maybe I should buy some Bitcoin.”

He added that this could also work in “reverse.”

Ackman’s “scenario” prompted a spectrum of responses, ranging from defensive retorts to calls for a more nuanced understanding of Bitcoin’s energy use. The debate was further catalyzed by a comment highlighting the considerable energy consumption attributed to Bitcoin mining, likened to that of an entire country’s worth — Greece.

Critics argue that Bitcoin’s energy usage is an undeniable problem with significant environmental implications. In contrast, proponents argue that skeptics need to engage more deeply with the crypto community to understand the complexities of mining and its potential benefits for the energy sector.

Bitcoin is a bottom feeder

Experts in the field, including Michael Saylor, were cited for their views on the energy debate.

Saylor himself added to the debate and argued that Bitcoin mining could actually lead to more efficient energy solutions and drive the adoption of renewable energy sources by creating a demand for cheaper, more sustainable energy.

Alexander Leishman responded by emphasizing the competitive nature of Bitcoin mining, suggesting that the industry’s search for profitability naturally leads to the utilization of cheaper, often renewable, energy sources.

This perspective challenges the notion that Bitcoin mining exacerbates demand for conventional energy resources, arguing instead for its potential role in promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.

Troy Cross argued that increases in Bitcoin’s value do not necessarily lead to higher energy costs, pointing out the sophistication of mining technology and the strategic deployment of…

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