Speaking to CNBC, Garlinghouse said Elon Musk’s U-turn on Bitcoin was appropriate. Adding, it wasn’t surprising that the Tesla boss eventually flipped on Bitcoin, considering his environmental credentials.
Bitcoin Energy FUD
Two weeks ago, Elon Musk dropped the bombshell that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin due to his concerns that it was damaging to the environment.
A sharp sell-off followed, which was accompanied by more FUD leading to further drops in the Bitcoin price. While this week has seen some reprieve, BTC remains below the 200-day moving average, suggesting bears are currently controlling the market.
Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
This event has reinvigorated debate over the environmental impact of Proof-of-Work (PoW) cryptocurrencies. Putting sustainability squarely back on the agenda once again.
Bitcoin proponents, including Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, say Bitcoin can be made green over time. But Garlinghouse dismisses this argument saying the facts and trends don’t support this view, and Dorsey will need to “reevaluate himself” down the line.
“I think Jack Dorsey, as time goes by, will have to take a look at the fact pattern and trendline and reevaluate himself.”
How Ripple Differentiates Itself
Ripple prides itself on being a much more energy-efficient platform than Bitcoin. Rather than wasteful PoW mining, the Ripple Ledger reaches consensus through a network of independent validating nodes. This process acts as a distributed economic system storing accounting information.
Garlinghouse claims Ripple is one hundred thousand times more energy-efficient than Bitcoin, and that most people grossly underestimate Bitcoin’s environmental impact.
According to the Ripple boss, offsetting the Bitcoin network’s carbon cost for a year would require planting 95 million acres of forest.
“To offset that, from a carbon production point of view, to offset that, you’d have to plant 95 million acres of forest, that’s basically the size of California.”
Responding to claims that Ripple was behind the Bitcoin energy FUD, Garlinghouse laughed off the rumor saying prominent figures are talking about this problem, not just himself.
“Look, you have Bill Gates speaking out about all of this, you have Janet Yellen speaking about this, you have Elon Musk speaking out about this.”
He added that Ripple wouldn’t be locked in a battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission if it held such sway and influence.
“If Ripple could control those people we probably wouldn’t have a lawsuit from the SEC, as an example. So, it’s a real issue, the way we solve real issues is by internalizing them, understanding them, and addressing them.”
In any case, he implied, rather than an attack on Bitcoin, these types of discussions are how the problem gets resolved.