This week, “Opinionated” co-hosts Ben Schiller, Anna Baydakova and Danny Nelson are discussing one of the most interesting topics raised during CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021 virtual conference – bitcoin’s ESG (environmental, social and governance) moment.

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The question of bitcoin’s impact on the environment has been hovering over the industry for years, but recently it got real momentum after Elon Musk first sent bitcoin prices surging, then plunging, then going up again by tweeting about bitcoin’s environmental impact. 

After showing disapproval of bitcoin’s ecological impact, Musk soon returned with a new message: He met with the North American bitcoin miners to get them to adopt greener standards of work. 

Cathie Wood, the founder of Ark Investment Management, believes the move was dictated by some very pragmatic reasons, as she said in a Consensus 2021 interview with Nathaniel Whittemore: 

“Elon probably got a few calls from institutions,” Wood said. “I noticed that BlackRock is [Tesla]’s number three shareholder and Larry Fink is the CEO. He is focused on ESG and especially on climate change. I’m sure BlackRock registered some complaints and perhaps there are some very large holders in Europe who are extremely sensitive to this.”

In setting up the Bitcoin Mining Council, some wondered if Musk and his fellow founder-whale Michael Saylor wanted to centralize bitcoin mining. This is hardly possible (for now). However, attempts to create various whitelists and blacklists for bitcoin, depending on how “green” or dirty, sanctioned or politically clean they are and so on, might harm bitcoin’s core value: borderless money with no rulers to control it. 

Ben, Anna and Danny discuss these and other topics related to the heavily controversial bitcoin environmental agenda.

Ben Schiller’s Twitter handle is: @btschiller

Anna: @baidakova

Danny: @reaDannyNelson

Image credit: Andy /iStock/Getty Images Plus/ modified by Coindesk