Crypto bulls challenge Elon Musk’s environmental concerns on bitcoin – but billionaire Mike Novogratz takes a softer stance

Elon Musk
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.

The crypto community was swift to reject Elon Musk’s decision late on Wednesday to halt payment in bitcoin for Tesla vehicles due to environmental concerns, suggesting that renewable energy is largely used to mine the popular cryptocurrency.

“We are concerned about the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk said in a tweet Wednesday.

Here’s how some bitcoin bulls reacted to Musk’s announcement:

“Ironic because no incremental energy is used in a #bitcoin transaction. The energy is used to secure the crypto-asset network, and the net impact on fossil fuel consumption over time will be negative, all things considered.” – MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor.

“Elon probably did not research how much energy is required to run other (non crypto) currencies that Tesla accepts.” – Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

“Elon … you realize that 75% of miners use renewable energy, right? This energy story has been debunked over and over again.” – Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano.

“When Elon realizes that bitcoin mining is actually pushing the renewable energy industry forward, he will refresh position and #bitcoin will moon.” – co-founder and president at crypto exchange Gemini Cameron Winklevoss.

“FWIW, Bitcoin mining is a massive subsidy for renewable energy.” – co-founder and CEO at Gemini Tyler Winklevoss.

“We at Mavs.com will continue to accept BTC/Eth/Doge because we know that replacing gold as a store of value will help the environment and shrinking big bank and coin usage will benefit society and the environment.” – Dallas Mavericks owner and investor Mark Cuban.

Novogratz and El-Erian were less at odds with Musk:

“My take on @elonmusk is to take him at his word. He cares about the environment and he is using his considerable influence to push BTC mining towards a greener future. Lots of companies in the space have already been working on this. Stay tuned. And buy $BTC.” – Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz.

“This unexpected development has placed pressure on #Bitcoin. @elonmusk and @Tesla were front runners in the process of private sector adoption of the #crypto #currency, opening the way for others to follow. The reasons for this apparent U-turn are not yet clear.” – Allianz chief economist and president of Queens’ College, Cambridge University Mohamed El-Erian.

Musk appears to have changed his stance

The self-proclaimed “Technoking” had only recently agreed with Twitter boss Jack Dorsey by saying bitcoin “incentivizes” renewable energy. Dorsey’s Square payments company and Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest asset management firm had collaborated on research that suggested bitcoin mining isn’t environmentally-damaging.

Screenshot 2021 05 13 at 08.34.00

He now says Tesla will look at using other cryptocurrencies that take up less than 1% of bitcoin’s energy use for transactions.

Bitcoin dropped as much as 15% at one point following Musk’s tweet to trade around $46,350, but recovered to around $50,850 as of 3:45 a.m. ET on Thursday.

“In some capacity, distancing the brand from bitcoin could win some ESG love,” Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Financial, said.

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The Winklevoss twins said buying Bitcoin is the ‘trade of the century’ and predicted a 30x return in a recent interview. Here are the 9 best quotes

winklevoss
  • The Winklevoss twins pitched a large purchase of Bitcoin today as the “trade of the century” and predicted the digital currency will soar by 30 times in a recent Real Vision interview.
  • Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss also described Bitcoin as a social network, suggested comic books and baseball cards would increasingly move to blockchains, and bemoaned the Federal Reserve’s lack of transparency.
  • Here are their 9 best quotes from the interview.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss described buying a large amount of Bitcoin now as the “trade of the century” and predicted the cryptocurrency will soar 30-fold from its current price of about $19,000.

The twins, who famously accused Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea when he launched the social-media company, are Bitcoin billionaires and run a digital-currency exchange named Gemini. They made the comments during a a Real Vision interview filmed on December 7 and released on December 11.

The pair also compared Bitcoin to a social network, predicted collectibles will increasingly be bought and sold on blockchains, and criticized the Federal Reserve’s opacity.

Here are their nine best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

Tyler: “Bitcoin was the first internet money in the world. Then when you realize that money is the greatest social network of all, Bitcoin is maybe the greatest social network of all also.”

Cameron: “We are just not going to run away with your Bitcoin. It just does not make any sense for us to do that.”

Cameron: “The mainland is legacy finance, crypto is an island. We want to see an inversion where crypto becomes the mainland and legacy finance is just this dinosaur that is slowly fading away.”

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Tyler: “The comic books you grew up reading, the baseball cards you collected, those are now being put on a blockchain because people are starting to realize their physical nature is actually not a feature, it is a bug. It is not about the physical nature. It is the scarcity. It is the uniqueness.”

Tyler: “I do not know who said compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. Albert Einstein or Warren Buffett, maybe it was Gandhi, I do not know” – the quote is commonly attributed to Einstein.

Tyler: “How do these conversations go behind the curtain? It is like the Wizard of Oz. The Fed, it is a mystery, and there is no clarity on how the decision is made. Wave the magic wand, Jerome Powell says this or that. It is insanity.”

Tyler: “The dominoes are starting to fall, and eventually it is going to be a central bank, some very smart companies, a country is going to take a huge position in Bitcoin and talk about it.”

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Tyler: “The trade of the century is still out there for a couple of people, a couple of hedge-fund managers. It will be as great as the George Soros breaking the pound trade” – describing the opportunity for a fund manager to buy $100 million worth of Bitcoin.

Tyler: “Our thesis is that Bitcoin rises 30-fold from here because it is digital gold, it disrupts gold.”

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