When billionaire Elon Musk announced that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin as payment for its electric vehicles, the price of the crypto asset tanked. In justifying this decision, Musk cited bitcoin mining’s inefficient use of electricity as well as its impact on the environment. In fact, before Musk waded into this debate, many opponents of the crypto had repeatedly attacked bitcoin’s energy-consuming transaction confirmation process.
The Bitcoin Mining Environment Argument
As expected, bitcoin maximalists and crypto supporters have been pushing back against what they see as an unbalanced argument. To bitcoiners, the environmental impact claims or electricity costs argument completely ignores the negative externalities associated with the creation/production of alternative stores of value like gold and fiat.
Already, a number of reports have not only countered the BTC’s carbon footprint argument but have also exposed the environmental costs of running a conventional currency system. For instance, Bitcoin.com News recently reported another billionaire, Mark Cuban, informing Musk that his organization was going to continue accepting crypto.
Gold Extraction Negative Externalities
However, until recently, not many reports had solely focused on the negative externalities that are associated with the extraction of gold. The precious metal, which for centuries had been the traditional alternative store of value, has seen its position being challenged by BTC in the past few years. This challenge has inevitably led gold supporters and bitter opponents of bitcoin like Peter Schiff to wage a war against bitcoin. Now a new report that at least exposes the true costs of gold mining in Africa might swing the initiative away from opponents.