Celebrity investor Kevin O’Leary says he will buy bitcoins mined in a sustainable way only in countries that use clean energy – not a “blood coin” mined in China.
“I see two or two types of coins next year,” he told CNBC’s Capital Liaison on Monday. “Blood coin from China, (and) pure coin produced in a sustainable way in countries that use hydroelectricity, not coal.”
Bitcoin mining is extremely energy-intensive and about 65% of the world̵
“I’m going to the side of pure coin,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary did not specify where he acquired “clean” bitcoins, but some countries use hydroelectric power more widely than others, and there are organizations that claim to extract cryptocurrencies in a sustainable way.
O’Shares’ ETF chairman once called bitcoin “garbage,” but recently changed his mind and said he would allocate 3% of his personal portfolio to the cryptocurrency, according to a CoinDesk report.
O’Leary said he was “flooded” by institutions asking if he was buying a “blood coin from China” after saying he wanted to invest in bitcoin.
Increasingly, large institutions are imposing restrictions on the assets they will own in order to comply with environmental and corporate governance rules. Concerns include human rights and carbon emissions. O’Leary said whether the products are made in China is also a consideration.
“All these problems … have now come to the fore for bitcoins,” he said. “Institutions will not buy coins mined in China, coins mined using coal to burn electricity, coins mined in countries with sanctions against them.”
Institutions say they do not want to support China because of human rights problems, he added.
O’Leary said personally that he was working to ensure that every coin he owned met the requirements.
“I don’t buy a coin unless I know where it was minted, when it was minted, its origin,” he said. “Not in China. There’s no blood coin for me.”