Jack Dorsey Claims Bitcoin ‘Incentivizes Renewable Energy’ Despite All Evidence to the Contrary

Earth Day is prime time for brands and people to promote their pre-existing products to the masses, swaddled up in a green package.

Dorsey’s firm Square released a white paper on Wednesday in conjunction with ARK Invest “to argue for bitcoin as a key driver of renewable energy’s future.” Dorsey quote retweeted it, Musk replied with an endorsement, and the uncritical hype cycle was on.

The paper points to a concept in the energy sector known as the “duck curve” where energy demand peaks in the mornings and especially evenings when people are home while renewable generation tends to peak during the day when the sun is shining.

The solution is, of course, bitcoin mining with rigs nibbling on what the paper somewhat grossly refers to as “whatever remains of the ‘duck’s belly.’” Basically, ARK Invest and Square are saying miners should pick over the carcass of the energy system and generate bitcoin revenue for operators.

So the idea of installing more mining rigs—which are designed to run 24/7 since going down means no profit—now just means they’d continue to be a huge source of emissions by using fossil fuel-generated power.

That also points to a fallacy around them scooping up excess power in the day and then just shutting off for the night.

The idea that there are only two options—mine bitcoin or let the energy go to waste—is laughable.

That’s why it’s shown up in coal-friendly provinces of China and in Iran after sanctions left that country with a glut of oil to burn.

Maybe bitcoin bulls are right and it will one day be the currency the world runs on! But to try and pretend it’s anything other than a financially lucrative endeavor at this point, let alone one that could some lead to a clean energy revolution, is laughable.

The idea that bitcoin alone is the solution is akin to the NRA saying the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

The idea that miners would somehow just nibble at the “duck’s belly” and be content is not borne out by data.

When a transaction processor manages to process a transaction before any other processor, they get to claim both the reward and the transaction fee, and then everyone else moves onto the next transaction.

Likewise, if there are fewer nodes, transaction fees go up because people will pay more to get ahead in the queue, and it becomes more profitable to run more transaction processors.

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