The CEOs of FTX and MicroStrategy commented on Senator Warren’s claim that cryptocurrency mining was killing the planet.
Twitter saw a small spat recently between Senator Elizabeth Warren and a pair of cryptocurrency CEOs. Both Sam Bankman-Fried and Michael Saylor responded to a tweet from Senator Warren pleading for a crackdown on mining. The disagreement centered around comments that Senator Warren made regarding the environmental impact that Bitcoin mining was contributing to the death of the planet.
Warren tweeted a link to an article from the New York Times on cryptocurrency mining, accompanied by a tweet reading: “Bitcoin mining consumes roughly the same amount of electricity as Washington state—putting pressure on our power grids and worsening the #ClimateCrisis. We need to protect our planet and crackdown on environmentally wasteful crypto mining practices.
In response to this claim by Senator Warren, Bankman-Fried tweeted that it made sense to tackle the issue. “Definitely make sense to tackle it!” Bankman-Fried tweets, “offsetting can do some; using other chains/lightning/L2s/etc. can help reduce load/cost too.” FTX’s CEO added that the energy used in bitcoin mining is, as he says, “in line with its economic impact.” He says it is his belief that it can be improved like any system but should not be viewed as an outlier.
CEO of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor, tweeted a response of his own to Warren. “#Bitcoin mining converts wasted & stranded energy into digital energy, the natural successor to chemical & electrical energy. It can be managed by any computer, transferred anywhere at the speed of light, and lasts forever, thereby improving our climate, economy & power grid.
Bitcoin mining is a hot-button topic
The debate as to just how much impact cryptocurrency mining has on our environment has been heated in recent months. The debate has been raging between environmentalists and government officials like Warren butting heads with cryptocurrency advocates like Saylor and others.
One of the most prominent figures in this debate is Elon Musk. Tesla’s CEO made waves earlier in 2021 by announcing that Tesla cars would available for purchase via cryptocurrency. This caused not only a spike in the price of crypto, but also brought a lot of attention to Musk from critics. The environmentalists were able to convince Musk to reconsider his decision, and the CEO backtracked not long after. Later, Musk announced that he would not accept crypto payments on Tesla models again until at least 50% of mining operations using green energy. So far, this has not happened and customers are still unable to buy Tesla’s with crypto.
Another critic of mines that rely on traditional energy sources is Kevin O’Leary. The Shark Tank co-host had previously said that he would cease purchasing any bitcoin mined in China due to the non-green energy used to extract coins from the blockchain.
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