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Banks Pollute Way More Than Bitcoin, Study Finds

Banks invest in dirty energies. Image:  Rainforest Action Network


Take note, Elon Musk, British banks fund activities that pollute as much as a top 10 country in the world.

According to a study by activist groups Greenpeace and WWF, British banks were responsible for supporting projects that emitted 805m tonnes of CO2 in 2019.

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For reference, expert estimate that UK generated 455m metric tons of CO2 during that period.

The UK is a significant contributor to climate change, ranking in the Top 20 most polluting countries, with 370 Billion Metric tonnes of CO2. The United States and China top the list by a wide margin.

Banking on Climate Chaos

The report shows some alarming figures in the eyes of those who genuinely care about the environment:

“In the five years since the Paris Agreement, the world’s 60 biggest banks have financed fossil fuels to the tune of $3.8 trillion”.

But the problem extends beyond the United Kingdom. The report “Banking on Climate Chaos” —which is endorsed by 312 activist organizations from 50 countries around the world— found out that globally, the investment of the big banks in the exploitation of fossil fuels has only been increasing. The leading investors in these polluting energies are JP Morgan, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America – all from the United States, where Tesla has its HQs.

Banks invest in dirty energies. Image:  Rainforest Action Network
Banks invest in dirty energies. Image: Rainforest Action Network

Bitcoin vs Banks: An Economic And Environmental Debate

Discussions on environmental issues have been present in the crypto sphere for years, but it was in mid-May that the ecosystem really caught fire, after Elon Musk —a former self-confessed bitcoin lover— announced that Tesla would stop accepting BTC as a means of payment due to its heavy dependence on dirty energy.

The announcement catalyzed the panic and nervousness of many Bitcoin enthusiasts, causing a crash of nearly 50%. Bitcoin went from its ATH of almost $65000 to lows of $30,000 in a matter of days. Some analysts argue that it was enough to change the price trend from bullish to bearish, at least in the short term.

In conjunction with this announcement, Elon Musk revealed that he was working with certain Dogecoin developers to improve the blockchain and make it suitable for global adoption.

He went so far as to claim that Doge could surpass Bitcoin “hands down”.

Pushing for a Greener Bitcoin Mining Industry

One of the advantages that Elon Musk puts on the table is that Doge’s consensus algorithm is much more environmentally friendly than Bitcoin’s because it doesn’t demand as much energy.

Faced with these concerns, Michael Saylor, CEO of the consulting firm MicroStrategy, intervened and managed to bring Elon Musk closer to a group of miners to create the Bitcoin Mining Council. This organization will seek to promote cheap and renewable energy to reduce the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.

But considering that CO2 emissions from the Bitcoin blockchain are estimated to be around 57 million metric tons, it might be a good idea for Tesla to stop receiving US dollar (which is over 10X more pollutive) if the environmental concerns are indeed enough to change one of Tesla’s accepted payment methods.

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