New Bitcoin ETFs Will Make it Easier to Invest in Climate Destruction

by Gigi Singh

January 10, 2024

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) approves Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETF) despite widespread concerns about Bitcoins pollution.

© Tracie Williams / Greenpeace

Washington, DC (January 10, 2024) – In response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approval of Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETF) from BlackRock and Fidelity, Rolf Skar, National Campaigns Director at Greenpeace USA, said, “The approval of the Bitcoin ETFs is a watershed moment in the financial services industry’s embrace of polluting Bitcoin. Without substantial and measurable changes to Bitcoin mining industry practices in the near term, this presents serious challenges for our efforts to reduce carbon emissions and avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis. As Bitcoin scales, it is incumbent on BlackRock, Fidelity, and all financial institutions investing in Bitcoin, to play an active role in solving its carbon emissions problem and ensure that the mining industry makes serious efforts to rein in its use of fossil fuels.

“Speculation and hype alone about a potential Bitcoin ETF based on the current, or spot, price of bitcoin that trades on traditional stock exchanges has driven up bitcoin’s price. Now that the Bitcoin ETF has been approved, it will make it easier for casual and institutional investors to bet on Bitcoin. When Bitcoin’s price goes up, so does its environmental impact. More electricity is used by miners competing to win more valuable Bitcoin rewards in the giant guessing game called Proof-of-Work mining. That electricity is predominantly generated by fossil fuels which leads to more carbon emissions and water use. SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin ETF is a win for executives at big Wall Street companies but a loss for the climate and society.”

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Contact: Gigi Singh, Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA (+1) 631-404-9977, [email protected]

Greenpeace USA is part of a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace USA is committed to transforming the country’s unjust social, environmental, and economic systems from the ground up to address the climate crisis, advance racial justice, and build an economy that puts people first. Learn more at www.greenpeace.org/usa.

By Gigi Singh

Senior Strategic Communications Specialist.

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