Kevin O’Leary, a Canadian entrepreneur well known to US TV audiences for his Shark Tank appearances has delivered a keynote speech at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami. And it was suitably bullish.

O’Leary partly focused on Bitcoin mining, which continues to face reputational issues from some American politicians, particularly Senator Elizabeth Warren, and organisations such as Greenpeace. The negative view stems from the well-documented, high-energy expenditure Bitcoin’s “proof-of-work” mechanism requires.

Citing the growing trend and necessity for Bitcoin miners to seek out sustainable energy sources, the entrepreneur argued that the demand for nuclear and hydroelectric power will actually spur further innovation and sustainable energy adoption.

“Bitcoin mining is going to save the world,” he announced yesterday to a packed auditorium at the conference, which is said to have gathered more than 40,000 Bitcoin and crypto fans from all over the globe.


‘This is the future of Bitcoin mining’

O’Leary explained that currently in the Bitcoin mining industry, “the way we get carbon neutral, is through carbon offsets”, but the problem with that is it’s almost impossible to verify and audit properly.

Instead, he says, the industry must choose green energy solutions from the beginning, and he believes that, although there are regulatory challenges in the US to overcome, this is the way it’s heading.

Carbon offset programs are difficult to verify, according to O’Leary, who said that the margins for error for such initiatives made them virtually impossible to audit correctly. So the entrepreneur doesn’t see carbon-offset options as a long-term solution to Bitcoin-produced carbon emissions.

Instead, he says, miners must choose green energy alternatives from the start.

“Why is Bitcoin mining good for the earth?” O’Leary asked. “It’s because the next generation of Bitcoin miners, some of which are right here, are starting to work with energy that doesn’t require carbon. Hydroelectricity, nuclear power and wind and solar.

“The drive to produce Bitcoin is so economic in value… and this is the future of Bitcoin mining – we will be developing power for all communities, while we mine coin in an ethical and 100 per cent green mandate that we can do with hydroelectricity.”

I’ll install the turbines,” he declared. “Why? Because it’s great economics if I can use that and not be hassled by a carbon audit… And the capital required for this is unlimited.”

O’Leary finished his speech by referencing proposed positive pieces of crypto legislation, including the Cynthia Lummis bill: The Responsible Finance innovation Act.

“If you want to see Bitcoin appreciate in value,” concluded O’Leary… “If you’re an advocate like I am… you want regulation. And [then] you stand back and watch the capital pour into this.”