Bitcoin and the battle for New York
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Ah New York, the big Apple. A city I hope to one day visit but with the current pandemic probably not for a few years anyway.
A global icon, the city that never sleeps and a pinnacle of modern society in some aspects. I do enjoy the allure of New York.
But today, a new battle has emerged one that will define tomorrow and one that will set the standards for Bitcoin mining going forward.
Greenidge Generation an energy company in New York has pivoted its business into mining Bitcoin. It's great to see new age technology coming to the forefront and we're at the stage now where cryptocurrancy is really starting to take hold.
But it hasn't come without a fight,
Greenidge Generation prides itself on being a greener energy supply compared to coal, it does this by burning natural gas to power steam turbines in the same way traditional coal power plants do.
Natural gas power plants produce 40% less carbon emissions than coal power plants and at first glance it sounds great, which it is.
Except Greenidge which was established in 1937 doesn't operate all that often. It supplies power in times of need such as hot summer days and cold winter nights. It's latest move now sees the plant operate 24/7. The reward? 4 Bitcoin a day, not much of a return for such an amount of CO2 emissions. You can read more about the plant Here
This has put the company and the operation at odds with environmental groups who believe the investment is not a a good one for local jobs and the environment.
Greenidge states that it is the first mainstream Bitcoin public company which is providing employment you can read a bit more about their move into bitcoin and all the ins and outs Here
Senator Kevin Parker recently weighed in on discussions announcing some policy change in regards to audits of bitcoin operations. The Senator doesn't move to prohibit bitcoin mining and can be seen to include the job creation providing by bitcoin mining but there is a focus on renewable energy.
As much of the world begins to battle bitcoin mining and its environmental impacts Bitcoin has some of its own battles to resolve.
The month of May was Bitcoins most volatile yet with April bringing Bitcoin to a branch new all time high of $US65,000 before plummeting to a low of $US31,200. With a 47% drop from the May high its anyone's guess to where Bitcoin can land this month. You can read more Here
Jan Tore Sanner the finance minister of Norway has a different opinion and going against current anti bitcoin sentiment sees a future for the electronic currency. Suggesting that bitcoin will one day stabilise and move away from the current volatility.
But the minister also noted that he can not see cryptocurrancies being mainstream until adequate regulations are put in place. You can read more about it Here
Further business breakthroughs occur with the chief executive of Aker recently considering taking payment in Bitcoin for their company. Read more Here
As someone involved in politics at a low level I can understand the points of views currently being expressed and it is a multifaceted issue.
On the one hand you have an economic giant in development ushering in a new finance sector. Much like the internet in the 90s no one wants to limit its development and hinder progress.
However, refraining from regulation also puts a significant amount of people at risk. With the growing amount of rug pulls and false projects designed to steal peoples money it is only a matter of time until someone is seriously harmed.
The entry of wealthy business leaders in the sector has also provided an insight on how easy the market is to manipulate. Recent twitter storms against Elon Musk are a testament to that. However, I don't blame Elon as the market is unregulated and he is playing by the rules or lack of them.
I can also see governments attempting to utilise tax regulations in an attempt to stabilise the market. Expanding each trade as a taxable event prevents people from constantly switching and changing. Reducing risk taking behaviours and pushing people into more secure decisions. At the moment it is of my opinion that cryptocurrancy is more of a gamble than an investment.
On the environmental front, this is a challenging one. I understand that this is a heavy use of energy sector. I know that many will disagree with my opinion and stance but as everyone else I am entitled to it.
I am a supporter of the environment. However, my belief is in employment first. We don't get to have an environment or life without employment.
This is a view shared but often dismissed by many environmentalists. I remember many years when Green Peace visited small communities in Vietnam and Asia attempting to prevent whale farming in the ocean. The communities cared dearly of the whales, they understood their actions were most likely going to drive the species to extinction. Yet everyday they would rise and head out to kill more.
It's hard to save the world on an empty stomach.
For many environmentalists they remove the human suffrage of what is occurring and in places like New York where Greenidge is providing economic opportunities, they are also allowing families to put food on the table and a roof over their children's heads.
When pushing policy change politicians should not be so quick to dismiss the suffering of their people. Without an adequate balance that supports economic activity and the environment there is no progress. To dismiss your fellow country men's position in life while you eat at a table in a warm home is negligent in my opinion.
Instead if fighting this industry needs to be supported, regulated and renewable energy needs to be utilised but it needs help.
Bitcoin mining is not going anywhere other than another country which will not care for the environment.
Sometimes, we need to put our personal beliefs and opinions to the side for the benefit of others. It's not easy but nothing in this life is. But it's easier than watching your neighbours go hungry and their children go without.
Employment first, it is the greatest gift you can give someone and their best shot at life.
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