Bitcoin exchange Gemini Trust, run by the Winklevoss brothers Cameron and Tyler, has purchased around $4 million in carbon credits to help offset the alleged carbon emissions footprint of its bitcoin held in custody, reported Bloomberg.
“We want to build a better world” with Bitcoin, Tyler Winklevoss told Bloomberg. “It’s also important to be sustainable as we navigate into that vision.”
Gemini purchased the carbon credits indirectly through a donation to Climate Vault. This Delaware-based, nonprofit, nonstock corporation seeks to facilitate organizations to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by leveraging existing offset markets.
The nonprofit, which directly purchased the permits, said the Winklevoss donation would prevent over 341,000 metric tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere. Gemini claimed that these offsets cover all of the bitcoin held by the trust, which amounts to an average daily balance of 250,843 BTC so far this year — around $8.3 billion at the time of writing.
According to Bloomberg, Gemini currently serves as the custodian for nine exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and two closed-ended, publicly-traded funds in North America. But with this recent purchase, part of the Gemini Green initiative, the company seeks to appeal the bitcoin investment case to more institutional investors. Corporations worldwide, especially investment funds, have lately received intense environmental, social and governance (ESG) pressure from the public.
“We are just playing our part to address the ESG conversation and component of Bitcoin that a lot of people have heard about, and they can come to Gemini and use Gemini Green custody, and they can fulfill their ESG mandates,” Winklevoss told Bloomberg.
ESG disclosure by investment funds and related entities has become increasingly demanded. As a result, investors now seek to add more ESG-compliant businesses into their portfolios and better appeal to subsequent retail investors who are increasingly concerned about the environment. But the ESG narrative hasn’t escaped criticism. The broad array of fields encompassed by its acronym gets dizzyingly translated into investment ideas, showing that it lacks clarity.
Nonetheless, the Winklevoss purchase of carbon credits might not only spur additional interest by institutional investors, which is one of the important drivers of adoption, but could also bring a tangible contribution to the planet, as tons of carbon are stopped from entering the atmosphere.