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Understanding Bitcoin's Energy Consumption

In this episode of the "Bitcoin Bottom Line" podcast, the host and guest discuss how Bitcoin relates to farming, energy and more.

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On this episode of “Bitcoin Bottom Line,” host C.J. Wilson was joined by veteran and contributor to Bitcoin Magazine Mike Hobart. Wilson and Hobart share similar backgrounds in exercise, physiology and kinesiology. Hobart’s journey started in 2013 when he joined the military. He gave credit to the book, "Man’s Search For Meaning" by Viktor Frankl for opening himself up to finding purpose after being in a dark place. He studied exercise science while in school allowing him to now write articles on a wide variety of topics.

Hobart's curiosity in Bitcoin sparked during his deployment to the Middle East in the spring of 2017. This was the first time he had a salary which led him to research investment theory. One of the most well known theories is, “You have to put your money where the market is going to go before the market goes there.” After watching bitcoin quadruple in four months he decided to invest. He studied the market for hours each day during his deployment.

Hobart has done in-depth research on bitcoin’s energy usage and believes that it is important to correct the misinformation that is being spread. He wrote an article on Microsoft’s energy consumption and discovered that each Microsoft employee used roughly 4,000-households'-worth of energy per year. 

Wilson stated, “I would say bitcoin is morally justified by producing a very high value in exchange for the energy use.”

Another popular topic in the Bitcoin community is regenerative farming. Wilson asked Hobart’s opinion on why he thinks America needs regenerative farming and if there is anything that Bitcoiners have not considered before. Hobart was deployed with many farmers and was surprised to discover how many of them were trading bitcoin overseas. One thing that he was not aware of was what fertilizers are actually doing to the soil. Fertilizers are depleting nutrients in our soil and now our food has about 12.5% of the nutrient density compared to the food our grandparents were eating. He believes that farmers need bitcoin for financial security. He went on to say, “If the farmers do not have a financial vehicle with which to continue producing food, then we have no food.”

After working with many farmers, Wilson observed that, “Farmers have very low time preference. If they are planting a tree, they have to wait six or seven years for that tree to bear fruit. This is a real investment and time horizon that people do not understand... When farmers get into bitcoin, the are thinking, ‘How can I hand this down to my kids?’” 

Farming is similar to trading with leverage.

Wilson wrapped up the episode saying that the public perception is focused on who started Bitcoin, and not on who is in Bitcoin now. Bitcoin is something different for everybody, with a wide range of options.