On Wednesday, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) made demands that federal lawmakers should take on the growing use of cryptocurrency, because she says that Bitcoin is responsible for worsening climate change.
Warren, a self described “consumer advocate,” who opposes Wall Street Banks, spoke in front of a Senate Banking Subcommittee hearing claiming that cryptocurrencies are responsible for all sorts of evil such as increased carbon emissions and increases in international crime.
She said that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin “[create] opportunities to scam investors [and] assist criminals.” She explained that recent cyber threats have proven that Congress and the federal government cant hope that crypto will go away on it’s own. “It won’t,” she says, insisting that the time has come to “confront these issues head-on.”
Warren later suggested on social media that one of the “easiest” things that federal legislators could do regarding the “climate crisis” would be to act against “environmentally wasteful” cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin mining requires a great deal of processing power, and as Warren points out the power consumption of Bitcoin mining “eats up more energy than. . . countries.” However, her argument is that cryptocurrency causes more environmental damage than traditional banking does.
She claims that “that kind of energy” isn’t necessary to simply keep money “on deposit at a bank or. . . mutual fund.” She added that “bitcoin is very different” for that reason, and that “in the 21st century,” people should be more “sensitive” to the broader impacts of “the choices we make.”
Warren is hoping to institute and alternative cryptocurrency, a “digital dollar” backed by the Federal Reserve which she claims will make banking more accessible to low-income Americans who don’t currently use traditional banking services. Critics of the Federal Reserve banking system expressed skepticism about a pseudo-cryptocurrency that’s backed and controlled by a world government.
Warren also fails in her argument that cryptocurrency consumes more power than traditional banking, with experts such as Cathie Wood from ARK Investment Management explaining that bitcoin uses less than 10% of the energy that the traditional banking system currently uses.
Warren was also corrected by Twitter users who pointed out that Bitcoin itself doesn’t use much energy to track and trade, rather it was only Bitcoin mining.
Author: Nora Payne