A portfolio manager from one of London's leading hedge funds has warned that Bitcoin, possibly the most famous cryptocurrency, has no social utility other than a tool for speculation and a vehicle for laundering the proceeds of crime.
Tim Bond, partner and portfolio manager at Odey Asset Management, also told MarketWatch that it is damaging the planet: “In my opinion, Bitcoin is a particularly horrific asset class.
"As Bitcoin begins to displace fiat currencies (government issued currencies that are not backed by a commodity), the ability of governments to levy taxes, spending and redistributions will be severely affected."
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He believes Bitcoin could prevent society from functioning efficiently and ethically.
"In that sense, Bitcoin spearheads a particularly extreme form of libertarian anarchism, which is probably why it's so popular in Silicon Valley," he said.
Odey Asset Management, which manages over $ 3 billion, was founded in 1991 by billionaire Crispin Odey. Bond said neither he nor it had any stake in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin mining is a form of testing or recording that uses the processing power of the computer. Bond cited a calculation by the Cambridge University Center for Alternative Finance, according to which bitcoin mining consumes 118.17 TWh of electricity per year.
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"Bitcoin mining is mostly happening in Asian economies (65% in China), which are powered by coal and other fossil fuels," he said. “We can therefore calculate that bitcoin mining produces around 55 million tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) annually, which is equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of Finland and more than the emissions of countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
“Bitcoin has therefore added CO2 emissions equivalent to the annual production of a medium-sized advanced economy. And if the Bitcoin price goes up, mining activity will increase and cause even higher carbon emissions.
"It is difficult to imagine any other human activity that is so pointless and so harmful to the planet at the same time."
Last month, the electric car maker Tesla
released a notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that $ 1.5 billion had been spent on Bitcoin.