Kevin O'Leary Doubles Down on 'Green Bitcoin'

If miners can improve sustainability, they can attract more institutional clients and boost prices, the investor said at Consensus 2021 today.

AccessTimeIconMay 24, 2021 at 9:06 p.m. UTC
Updated May 29, 2023 at 12:05 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Leading corporations are reluctant to add crypto to their balance sheets because of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues, entrepreneur and "Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary said during CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021 conference Monday. 

Less than 1% of institutions globally actually carry crypto as an asset class, he noted, and for that to change miners need to prove their coins are created sustainably, O’Leary said.

“Most of these institutions have both ethics and sustainability committees that filter offerings before they’re allocated on the investment committee. They’re not just singling out crypto," he said.

“We’re at the nascent beginning of this interest. Bitcoin is an asset that is here to stay, and now it's got to get in sync with what institutions want before they buy."

Elon Musk recently announced that Tesla has rescinded the option to purchase electric vehicles with bitcoin due to sustainability concerns, another example of how bitcoin's environmental impact has been rising up the issue agenda of late.

O’Leary is interested in “tagging,” or wrapping bitcoin that has been mined sustainably, and called upon miners to approach institutions with a plan.

While the idea sounds like a win-win, the use of mining pools and the essential fungibility of BTC has drawn skepticism from miners and prominent members of the industry. Nic Carter has called so-called “clean bitcoin” a chimera: something more imaginary than real. 

Still, O’Leary, a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, is eyeing opportunities to support firms that can offer resources and structure for green mining. Greener practices, he says, will help stoke demand and drive up asset prices. 

“That is what institutions want, and when that dam gets released the amount of capital that will come into bitcoin… it’ll be the reason it goes to a hundred thousand, two hundred thousand.”

“Everybody that owns bitcoin today, regardless of how it was mined, is incentivized to solve this problem for one reason alone, price appreciation.”

c21_generic_eoa_v2

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.