Environmental narratives around mining have grown stronger and more intense over the past year. Three bitcoin mining executives from companies working to limit pollution with mining are guests on this livestream. They share updates on their companies' growth, insights into the true environmental effects of bitcoin mining, and explain the disconnect between mining and mainstream narratives.

This livestream is important for anyone who wants to understand the nuances of ESG discussions about bitcoin mining, how these agendas are often misguided, and the negative consequences of new carbon emission-focused standards for industrial growth and innovation.

Video Recording

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Audio Version

Show Notes

Guest introductions (timestamp)

  • Steve Barbour (Upstream Data): Upstream started with a focus on vent gas and then evolved into a service provider (focusing on building and designing equipment).
  • Marty Bent (Great American Mining): His company mines bitcoin upstream of oil and gas operations and redirects flare gas to generators to mine bitcoin.
  • Ryan Leachman (JAI Energy): His company is based out of Wyoming. His company builds all their equipment, mining operations are powered by natural gas.

What is ESG? (timestamp)

  • Ryan: every investor presentation addresses ESG, there was not a term for this until recently
  • ESG is a pathway to long term value that you create for your company, but the narrative got hijacked
  • Steve: ESG is well intended, but it is poorly administered. It has become a second system of accounting (carbon accounting)
  • This second accounting system is subjective and corrupt
  • Third party administrators are not necessary to enforce good practices, companies are already incentivized to benefit the community
  • Marty: ESG is a totalitarian capital allocation strategy, pushing ESG relieves individuals of personal responsibility and hands that responsibility to governments and corporations

Why is the focus on the "E" in ESG? (timestamp)

  • Environmental is “low hanging fruit” and opportunity for governments to raise money
  • Environmental involves carbon emissions and carbon credits, the carbon scoring system and taxation will be administered based on emissions
  • Steve: the carbon accounting system does not benefit the environment; it is a scam.
  • The carbon tax is a reallocation of wealth
  • Under the carbon credit system: the government takes profits from oil and gas producers, and uses those profits on inefficient government programs
  • For example, the Canadian governments uses this money to power solar farms instead of using stranded natural gas. This is a net waste
  • These solar panels are built by Uighur slaves in China and constructed with coal negating all “ESG” benefits
  • By focusing on “E” in ESG, social responsibility (“S”) has been completely disregarded
  • The best energy sources should decided based on region, producers should use energy that is abundant in their area
  • Fossil fuels provide a net benefit to society as a whole

Is “green technology” legitimate? (timestamp)

  • The definition of green technology is Arbitrary
  • The green credit system was created to quantify it
  • Resource waste is the biggest issue not emissions
  • Every energy source involves emissions, even nuclear plants (mining of uranium)
  • Waste is measured from an economic standpoint, if there is no return on capital than it is a waste and net negative on the environment

Why did ESG activists start focusing on miners? (timestamp)

  • Ryan: we brought an exploration well online in 2019. Bitcoin miners we installed there to use flare gas.
  • Ryan: I didn’t care about bitcoin at first, I just wanted to keep my well online and meet legal requirements
  • Steve: After the Antminer S9 came to market, bitcoin mining became industrialized.
  • 2015-2016 is when mining became viable on an oilfield

The future of ESG regulations (timestamp)

  • Only black market miners can avoid ESG regulations
  • The biggest industrial North American miners are buying carbon credits to try to mitigate their regulatory risk
  • Steve: you can still comply with regs without legitimizing ESG BS
  • Many companies are positioning themselves for future regulatory attacks
  • ESG regs often discriminate against smaller miners

Clean coins and carbon credits (timestamp)

  • For a coin to be “clean”, it would have to be tracked through a centralized system
  • Every country or regulatory body has different standards making this difficult
  • The carbon credit system used to claim clean coins is ambiguous
  • Carbon credits is paying for protection
  • Carbon credits are administered by the United Nations

Hosted by Zack Voell and Will Foxley