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Bill Maher did not hold back with his criticism of cryptocurrencies ranging from Bitcoin to Dogecoin, suggesting that the whole room was bogus while also requiring an enormous amount of actual resources.
On Friday, during the New Rules section of his show Real Time with Bill Maher, the comedian said that the aim of mining cryptocurrency was to “create something that is purposefully arbitrary.” Maher suggested that investing in tokens was a juvenile endeavour that notable financial figures such as Warren Buffett avoided by comparing the crypto space to a computer game and speaking about mining in a seemingly derisive tone.
“There is something inherently not credible about creating hundreds of billions in virtual wealth with nothing ever actually being accomplished and no actual product made or service rendered,” said Maher. “Unfortunately what is real is the unfathomable amount of electricity those massive supercomputers suck up for their mining.”
“Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind just one uses more energy than a million visa transactions and has the same carbon footprint as 85,000 hours of watching Youtube […] Bitcoin uses more energy than Netflix, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google combined.”
When it comes to cryptocurrency, the comic said he really doesn’t “get it” — for example, he incorrectly referred to the founder of Bitcoin (BTC) as “Satatoshi Nakamoto.” Prominent figures in the room reacted quickly to Maher’s remarks, implying that the 65-year-old was out of step with the complexities of the financial community.
#bitcoin killed off the Dinosaurs.
— Peter Mc🟩 (@PeterMcCormack) May 1, 2021
Never ask a comedian for investment advice. pic.twitter.com/GhzuBJoBUU
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 1, 2021
“I like Bill Maher a lot and he is spot on many times, but his view of crypto is one sided,” said Alex Iskold of 2048 Ventures. “There is speculation for sure but the future of money is digital, and blockchain will have many many applications, that’s for sure too.”
Though some slammed Maher’s description of cryptocurrency as “just a Beanie Baby that runs on coal” others were not so willing to ignore his environmental claims. Bitcoin’s energy demand has been steadily rising as the network has grown, prompting many to be concerned about the crypto asset’s carbon footprint in the coming years.
BTC’s environmental effects, according to Digiconomist creator Alex de Vries, might “quickly get completely out of control if adoption increases a lot more.” However, both Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have stated that continued Bitcoin acceptance would encourage the use of green resources such as solar and wind.