Welcome to this week’s Crypto Investor!
Monday, Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research defendant cryptocurrency lender Voyager Digital in a Delaware court, saying he is owed $446 million that he transferred to the company before Alameda’s bankruptcy last year. Alameda said he paid off his debt to the company after Voyager’s bankruptcy in July, and was now recouping the money he lost so close to his own bankruptcy.
“The collapse of Alameda and its affiliates amid allegations that Alameda was secretly borrowing billions of FTX exchange assets is widely known,” the court filing on Monday said. “Largely lost in the (warranted) attention paid to the alleged misconduct of Alameda and his now indicted former leadership has been the role played by Voyager and other cryptocurrency ‘lenders’ who funded Alameda and fueled that alleged misconduct, either knowingly or recklessly.”
In this newsletter, we also have a deeper look at a new lawsuit wrestling with the question: Are cryptomines endangering our climate goals?
As always, if you have any questions or ideas about what you’d like to see in this newsletter in 2023, please drop a line at [email protected].
Elon Musk is still trying to bring (crypto) payments to Twitter
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, is pushing his fintech plans to transform the social media giant into a payment gateway. At the moment, he is focused on configuring the platform to offer transactions in fiat currencies, but he hopes to integrate crypto in the future, and the payment system is already designed to enable it one day, according to the Financial Times.
Tesla Bitcoin Balance
Tesla, one of the world’s leading public companies with Bitcoin assets, did not buy or sell any Bitcoin in the last quarter of 2022. Instead, the company said it faced $34 million in losses when the value of its Bitcoin holdings it plummeted to $184 million. last year for a price tag of $218 million. Remember that in February 2021, the company had $1.5 billion in Bitcoin investments, but sold 75% of its Bitcoin assets.
“The liberal case of cryptocurrencies”
What does the “liberal case of cryptocurrency” look like? According to Fortune, the best person to answer that question is Ritchie Torres, a Bronx Democrat who grew up largely unbanked. After receiving political funding from SBF and his brother, the New Yorker decided to take action and crafted two bills to make cryptocurrencies more secure. He also asked the Government Accountability Office to examine the SEC’s inability to protect Americans from the collapse of FTX.
Australian regulators were monitoring FTX six months before it collapsed
Australian government officials were monitoring FTX six months before its spectacular collapse, according to The Guardian. FTX had a license to operate in the Australian jurisdiction only after it took over another company. However, the move prompted regulators to scrutinize its suitability for a license, and before FTX filed for bankruptcy, Australian regulators already had concerns of their own about one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Approximately 30,000 clients in Australia lost money after the FTX crash, some as much as $1 million.
Are cryptomines endangering our climate goals?
When Canadian crypto mining company Digihost was given the green light by the state of New York to seize a natural gas power plant near Niagara Falls, activists were outraged. This month, filed a lawsuit against the New York Public Utilities Commission, which oversees and regulates public services, saying a sweeping 2019 climate law in New York should mean the energy-intensive crypto mining industry can’t just ignore climate rules .
As crypto mining picks up speed across the country (fueled by a recent spike in Bitcoin prices), there is an intense focus on how states are regulating the industry and how miners are working in conjunction with, or in opposition to. the climate objectives.
New York’s landmark climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), created a strict timetable for reaching a host of climate goals. By 2050, New York must reduce 85% of its emissions and the energy industry must reach zero emissions by 2040. And 70% of the state’s energy must come from renewable sources in just seven years. Activists say the law is significant, and the state must take it into account when allowing a crypto miner to take over a power plant.
The Fortistar power plant puts the state on a path toward climate peril, activists argue. The lawsuit alleges that the communities on the edge of the power plant are potential “disadvantaged communities” that deserve additional protection under the 2019 climate law. Residents are concerned that air pollution from the plant will one day exacerbate asthma or disease. residents’ chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Crypto miner Digihost plans to switch the Fortistar power plant, which is a natural gas-firing plant in upstate New York, into a hydrogen facility by the end of the year. Until then, he wants to use renewable natural gas. Right now, the plant is barely operating, but it could soon become a 24-hour facility.
“Running the plant 24 hours a day to mine cryptocurrency is going to be very bad for both the climate and the people in the area,” said Dror Ladin, lead attorney for Earthjustice, one of the environmental nonprofits that filed the case. the edge.
Beyond the environmental degradation, last February, the Fortistar power plant also provoked the anger of the neighbors by loud complaints. Without noise or zoning laws covering crypto mining, there may seem to be little recourse for frustrated residents subjected to increased noise pollution. Digihost has agreed to erect acoustic walls to placate residents, but most have yet to be built.
It is not clear how things will turn out. Since China banned Bitcoin mining in 2021, the US has become the world’s top miner, with New York, Texas and Kentucky leading the way. But unlike Texas, which courts miners, New York has taken a tougher stance against the energy-intensive industry. Last November, New York enacted a two-year moratorium on fossil fuel mining of Bitcoin. In doing so, Gov. Kathy Hochul said it was “a key step for New York as we work to address the global climate crisis.”
The moratorium does not affect Digihost, which took over the plant before the new law passed and is therefore not affected.
Other miners, however, have faced an uphill battle. Last summer, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation rejected an air permit renewal application from mining company Greenidge Generation, which took control of a New York power facility. The CLCPA was at the center of the pushback, which Greenidge is protesting.
How Digihost and other crypto miners will fare under New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act remains to be seen, but it’s clear that crypto mining and its impact on the environment will continue to be a constant topic of conversation for the industry at large.