Kevin O’Leary on ‘Shark Tank’ (screen grab).
Kevin O’Leary, the popular Shark Tank judge, believes that institutional money will flow into bitcoin after miners address ESG concerns. ESG are three central factors used to measure the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business: environmental, social and governance.
Speaking at a convention recently, O’Leary, popularly known as Mr Wonderful, said that one reason for the relatively slow pace of adoption is that firms have sustainability committees that screen every investment and filter ones that don’t meet ESG standards.
“The fact that they’re going through this process, I consider a very positive sign for cryptocurrency,” O’Leary said as per a Business Insider report.
He emphasized that institutional investors are still interested in bitcoin despite the recent sell-off. “So everybody’s got to wake up and realize there’s demand, but it has to be done around ESG concerns,” he said.
O’Leary also revealed that one of the first questions he asks before investing in a project is “how it deals with ESG”.
The Shark Tank investor even suggested that there should be a way to “tag” a bitcoin to prove that it comes from a sustainable energy source. He claimed the technology was “being worked on” and when available, a flood of institutional money will come into bitcoin.
Profitably creating, or mining, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies requires masses of computers dedicated to solving deliberately complicated equations — an endeavour that globally consumes more electricity than entire nations.
Bitcoin prices have plunged to record lows this month after China intensified its crackdown on cryptocurrencies and banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing crypto services to customers.
Chinese Banking Association’s website said financial institutions should “resolutely refrain” from providing services using digital currencies because of their volatility.
Virtually every cryptocurrency fell after the industry group’s statement.
Earlier, Elon Musk had also announced that Tesla would stop accepting bitcoin because of the potential environmental damage that can result from bitcoin mining. The announcement sent Bitcoin falling below $50,000 and set the tone for the big pullback recently in most cryptocurrencies.