ABC’s Shark Tank star, Kevin O’Leary, has sounded a warning that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting is going to shake up the Bitcoin mining industry.
While many key players are currently focused on Bitcoin’s price performance, O’Leary is more concerned about the dangers that the Bitcoin mining industry can pose for the market. O’Leary stated during a recent interview, that Bitcoin mining companies who did not obtain their energy from non-carbon emitting sources had no chance of passing a carbon audit. This is because the process for tracking carbon credits is rife with uncertainty. His take is a reaction to the annual investor letter sent out by Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock.
ESG is no longer a joke, says Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary
Kevin O’Leary, also known as Mr. Wonderful and made popular by his hosting ABC’s Shark Tank reality show, has called out Bitcoin mining firms that utilize carbon credits to try to stay carbon neutral.
Speaking in a recent interview, O’Leary warned that such miners were likely going to run into trouble with getting financing. This is because most financiers would steer clear of them to keep up with the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) mandates that are rapidly gaining a lot of weight.
Writing is on the wall for public Bitcoin mining companies that think they can fool investors by buying carbon credits to cover up their dirty, carbon belching ways. They will never survive a carbon audit, Kevin O’Leary said.
He opines that utilizing carbon credits instead of actual green energy sources is one reason Bitcoin mining was getting a bad rep, and governments around the world were going after the activity. O’Leary outrightly calls Bitcoin miners who utilize carbon credits, like Marathon and Riot, a “scam.”
A piece of advice for ESG conscious investors.
O’Leary shared concern that ESG, metrics that firms are using to measure their long-term sustainability, could cause a lot of investors to run into trouble if they did not available carbon credit buying Bitcoin miners.
His reason is that pressure was been put on investors and firms to become ESG compliant by BlackRock, one of the biggest assets managers in the world. BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, in his annual investor note stated that the multinational asset manager would sever ties with any of its clients that failed to implement ESG in its operations.
Going by this, O’Leary advised that investors should look at the ESG profiles of the Bitcoin mining firms they invest in to see if they pass the “ESG smell test.” Using himself as a case study, he said:
I’ve sold off those positions, and now I’m investing in miners that are doing it off hydro, wind, and solar so I don’t get in trouble…from institutions who have those sustainability mandates.