Elon Musk has once again intervened in the discussion about Bitcoin’s energy consumption.
This time he was directly pulled in by the CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell, who stated during an interview that Bitcoin is “greener” than critics claim.
Powell then added:
“I think Elon has some more studying to do”.
— Bitcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine) June 17, 2021
Elon Musk’s direct response came via Twitter. The CEO of Tesla asked Powell on the basis of what concrete data he could claim this.
Elon Musk and the energy consumption of Bitcoin
In fact, there has been speculation for some time now that about 70% of the electricity consumed by Bitcoin mining comes from renewable sources, but there is no concrete evidence that this is the case. Indeed, there are other estimates that claim that this “green” consumption is actually well below 50%.
So while Powell seems to support this hypothesis, Musk is sceptical, precisely because there is no concrete and indisputable evidence to support it.
A few days ago, when Musk himself said that Tesla might return to accepting bitcoin as a method of payment, he also stated that this will only be possible when there is confirmation that at least 50% of the energy used by the miners is clean.
There is no such confirmation as yet, because there are only estimates that are not backed by hard evidence.
Musk has therefore not questioned Powell’s claims, but he has questioned whether they can be considered certain.
In other words, it is possible that he considers it conceivable that already today Bitcoin’s energy consumption has a not particularly serious environmental impact, but since he cannot state this for sure he does not feel like relying only on estimates which, in theory, might also be wrong.
It has to be said that it is much easier to obtain similar data for countries where freedom of expression is more widespread, while it is less so in countries such as China, one of the world centres of Bitcoin mining, where freedom of expression does not actually exist. It might therefore be particularly difficult to meet Elon Musk’s demands in this respect, unless mining activities in China are reduced a lot.