Bitcoin Miner Eyeing SPAC Sees Token Riding Out ESG Outcry

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Bitcoin will likely ride out the current renewed scrutiny on its energy-intensive mining process, according to Iris Energy Pty, a miner of the largest token that uses renewable power.

Bitcoin’s use case has been validated over the past year by massive liquidity, and secured by the mining process that both produces the coins and verifies transactions, Daniel Roberts, co-founder of the Sydney-based company, said in an interview.

“It plays a valuable role,” Roberts said. “I don’t think it’s up to any individual to decide where energy should be used. It’s a market-based decision where Bitcoin, by virtue of the attraction and adoption it’s gained, is commanding that level of energy to secure it, to secure people’s savings.”

Debate over the massive energy demands of Bitcoin’s mining process has intensified again in recent weeks after crypto proponent Elon Musk shocked the industry by reversing Tesla Inc.’s acceptance of the coin for vehicle payments due to environmental concerns. The abrupt about-face has roiled crypto prices, sending Bitcoin plummeting some $30,000 from its record high of almost $65,000 in April.

Bitcoin Miner Eyeing SPAC Sees Token Riding Out ESG Outcry

The digital currency rose 2.5% to about $37,000 as of 12:30 p.m. in London, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Bitcoin recently fell below its 200-day moving average in a sign of slowing longer-term momentum.

Iris Energy has plans for a number of projects including data centers and infrastructure and is continuing to “explore options for SPACs” to help fund those ambitions, Roberts said.

The firm has been approached by several special purpose acquisition companies about a potential U.S. listing that could raise $300 million to $500 million, Bloomberg reported in May, citing people familiar with the matter.

“The recent news in the space and the focus on ESG continues to highlight that the business model we embarked on many years ago is likely the right one,” Roberts said. “We are hopeful of attracting the right capital partners to help us grow.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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