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Blockchain technology is about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity, from health care to our Internet of Things devices. In this podcast, host Laura Shin talks with industry pioneers across tech, financial services, health care, government and other sectors about how the blockchain and cryptocurrency will open up new opportunities for incumbents, startups and everyday people to interact more efficiently, directly and globally.

May 18, 2021

Last week, Tesla announced they will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for vehicles. In a timely episode, Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation, and James McGinniss, CEO and co-founder of David Energy, come onto the show to discuss Bitcoin, the petrodollar, and how to contextualize the energy usage of the first cryptocurrency (BTC) versus the leading fiat currency (USD). Show highlights:

  • their backgrounds and how they became interested in the intersection of currency and energy usage
  • why Alex and James really think Tesla stopped accepting BTC as payment
  • why James thinks Bitcoin’s energy intensity is a “feature, not a bug” 
  • Alex on the history of the petrodollar and how the USD in recent decades has been tied to fossil fuel production
  • comparing the carbon cost of a dollar to Bitcoin’s energy consumption
  • what both James and Alex think of the Square and Ark Invest research paper saying renewable energy production could be tied with Bitcoin mining
  • why measuring Bitcoin’s energy usage is difficult
  • how Bitcoin mining in China is changing for the better
  • how the Biden administration might impact Bitcoin
  • where to find more information on Bitcoin and energy consumption


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