Response to the responses to my Guardian Bitcoin piece

Hi there. If you’re reading this, you might have been directed from my social media accounts.

I had a lot of responses to a piece I wrote in the Guardian about how Bitcoin could follow in the steps of Big Oil to become the next enemy of the environmental movement.

I tried responding to everyone individually, but it quickly became overwhelming, especially with the responses to my responses that were piling up.

This will serve as the lone response I make on the topic. But I’m always happy to continue the conversation. Feel free to send me an email through the link on the sidebar. If you’re in Calgary, come have a beer with me or come on down to one of the meetups I host every month.

I write regularly on cryptocurrency and blockchain. On Wednesday, I wrote in the South China Morning Post about how blockchain can save Chinese bike-sharing firms. This month, I wrote in the Toronto Star about how Facebook’s foray into cryptocurrency is not necessarily a good thing. I also wrote in the Times Colonist about how Bitcoin mining could be a good thing for British Columbia. I have a newsletter to which you can subscribe through the sidebar.

In the Guardian, I made the argument that Bitcoin could become the new enemy of the environmental movement, like how oil is currently perceived.

There is no dispute that Bitcoin has an environmental impact, just like everything else we do. The article makes no determination on how that impact compares to other activities or whether that is good or bad.

I wrote: “The two industries are hardly the only environmental offenders, but they make great targets. Oil is currently the biggest one. That is in part because the industry is prominent, represented internationally by organized and high-profile groups. Attacks on it are visible.”

The argument the article makes is that Bitcoin is similarly high-profile and is thus an easy target. At issue is not Bitcoin’s actual environmental footprint. It will become the next target, regardless of what that footprint is.

With left-wing politicians and progressive publications sounding the alarm, the battle lines are already being drawn.