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Gold Bug Peter Schiff Still Bemoans Bitcoin Mining, But Against an Outright Ban

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Schiff tweeted the remarks in response to a post made by Michael Saylor.
  • Bitcoin mining has been the subject of an intense debate, often involving inaccurate claims.
  • Gold mining has been more profitable than bitcoin mining in 2022, even as the latter has increasingly shifted towards renewable energy sources.
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Prominent gold investor Peter Schiff thinks that bitcoin doesn’t need a ban, but calls it a complete waste anyway. He believes that mining can continue if people are willing to pay for it, though he thinks that the world would be better off without it.

Gold proponent Peter Schiff doesn’t think that bitcoin mining should be banned, so long as the miners are willing to pay for it. Schiff — a well-known critic of bitcoin — tweeted the remark on May 6, in response to a post by MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor.

Schiff does believe that bitcoin mining is a “complete waste of energy,” which according to him is not enough to warrant a complete ban. Saylor’s post had to do with an article on the potential ban of bitcoin mining in New York.

Schiff has long criticized bitcoin for many reasons and has touted the value of gold instead. He has gotten into multiple debates with prominent figures on the matter, including El Salvador President Nayib Bukele.

Bitcoin mining and the energy it consumes have been the subject of debate for a long time now. It has reached the point where the European Union even voted on the banning of proof-of-work networks, though that vote failed to pass.

While it is true that bitcoin has consumed a fair bit of energy, the discussion has led to a transition to renewable sources of energy. The state of Texas is working on the biggest renewable energy-powered crypto mining center, while sustainable practices, in general, have grown by 60% over the past year. The Bitcoin Mining Council has also been created to improve the state of mining.

Gold mining outpaces Bitcoin mining in 2022

At a time like this, it turns out that gold miners have outpaced bitcoin miners in 2022. Charts for the normalized returns of both assets for public companies in these spaces show that gold mining has been consistently better this year.

However, bitcoin has had a bit of a rough start to the year. The asset’s prices have gone down sharply from the highs of last year, and that has affected the revenue of all owners.

As for energy consumption, bitcoin and gold share one thing in common — most of bitcoin’s energy expenditure comes from the initial issuance. To put it another way, bitcoin’s energy consumption is 15 times less than the energy lost in global transit every year. Even gold mining emits over 300% more CO2 than bitcoin.

Of course, these arguments will not be enough to support bitcoin against the legislation. A move towards renewable sources will have to be made and is certainly happening. Crypto leaders have been refuting inaccurate claims, and have called for educating public officials, which may do good.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...