Twitter Spaces Transcript: Bitcoin & Environmentalism with Daniel Batten
Cleantech investor and lifelong environmentalist activist Daniel Batten joins Will Szamosszegi and Kent Halliburton to discuss Greenpeace's recent campaign against Bitcoin, the importance of orangepilling environmentalists, and his research showing that Bitcoin is a net positive for the environment.
Link to Audio:
Logan Chipkin (00:03:34):
Cool. Cool. Yeah, very nice piece. Yeah. I almost wonder if it felt like it was the final word, but perhaps I'm speaking too soon.
Daniel Batten (00:03:46):
Well, it depends what you mean. It might be the final word of the green piece USA change the code social media campaign. I don't think it'll be the last word from them in the mainstream media. I think they'll just probably continue the attack there. That's a possibility. It is possible like that. They will do some serious soul searching and go one of two things. Either maybe we've got our fats wrong, that's possible. I think less likely what's more likely is they'll think this is costing us a lot of reputation and let's cut our losses. I think that's more likely.
Logan Chipkin (00:04:31):
Yes. Well Dan, it's great that you're amped up and ready to talk about it. Let me invite Kent to join. One moment. Oh requested? Yep. Sorry, one
Speaker 3 (00:04:47):
Logan Chipkin (00:04:57):
Okay, here we are. All right. Kent is joining now. It's just connecting and right on time Kent, just to confirm, can you hear me?
Kent Halliburton (00:05:08):
Yes, sir. Logan, good to be up here with you as our faithful host and truly excited to have Daniel on to talk with us here today. I've just been really enjoying, I've read a couple times now the article that you just had published in Bitcoin magazine and wow, man, you are incredible storyteller.
Daniel Batten (00:05:33):
Well, thanks Ken. I appreciate it. And a storyteller can only do as good a job as the people who contributed. And so I see my job really is just documenting what I think will look back on as Bitcoin is, particularly in the environmental movement within Bitcoin as a really significant moment. And it felt that in Twitter things were often a bit of femoral. They come and go, but this was an important moment in now history to capture. So I just really wanted to do justice to that.
Logan Chipkin (00:06:13):
Yes, that's very well said and you certainly did do justice. Daniel, So quickly before we start, let's go ahead and introduce everyone, kind of set the space up. So everyone, this is the SA Mining Weekly Twitter space. My name is Logan Chikin. I'm the content manager at SaaS Mining where we make renewable bitcoin mining accessible, accessible to retail customers. Would you like to introduce yourself?
Will Szamosszegi (00:06:40):
Yeah, thank you Logan and Daniel, it's an absolute pleasure to get to finally speak with you. I know that you had a chance to connect with some of the other members from our team, but yeah, I mean it's an absolute honor to have you on as our Twitter space guest.
Daniel Batten (00:06:54):
Happy to be on.
Will Szamosszegi (00:06:56):
Yeah, and what a time too, I mean just after this article is coming out I know that initially we thought we'd only have you for 30 minutes and then we were all very excited hearing that you could hop on a little bit early to jump in here. So super excited for the conversation. But before diving into that, Kent, I'll pass it off to you.
Kent Halliburton (00:07:17):
Yeah, I've had the pleasure of getting to know Daniel over the last few months and well, I guess about me just for the audience, for a quick moment I head up the internal operations for the organization but I realized a couple months ago that I was following this guy's work and liken it quite often and finally realized that his name was Daniel and that he was publishing some of the best work I'd seen on bitcoin mining and environmental movement. And he just so happened to be an investor and it was at that point that we were doing some capital raising. So I reached out and struck up a dialogue and just been an incredible conversation and have learned a tremendous amount along the way from you, Daniel, especially how you approach narratives and just really seem to shift the conversation in a dramatic and meaningful way. Maybe it's just my timeline on Twitter, but I've noticed since you've arrived on the scene that the entire conversation has changed. So I very much appreciate that about you and look forward to learning a lot from you on today's spaces.
Daniel Batten (00:08:29):
Sure. Thanks Ken.
Logan Chipkin (00:08:36):
So yeah, regarding that your piece today, Daniel, which we'll link to below the Twitter space could you give us a bit more about where your passion comes from on this subject? And this I think will kind of weave into your background as well. So if you could also, Daniel, kind of introduce yourself and why it is so many Bitcoiners even know your name in the first place. Because I know that wasn't your original background.
Daniel Batten (00:09:02):
Bitcoin most certainly was not the original background. And this whole year has really been a case of the plan that was never made. I never intended to be doing any of the stuff that I'm doing here. And there was a person who put up a quote recently or was asking the question, who was it the first orange pilled you? And I replied to that message on Twitter saying Greenpeace usa. And it was half facetious but half true because it wasn't really until the changed. The code campaign came out in March of this year that really caused me to do some research. So my background is I've been an environmental activist for a long time. You would've seen from the article that ever since the age of four I've been involved in one way or another in the environmental movement. I'm still part of an international ngo, the Art Living Foundation that does humanitarian work and environmental work around the world, including reviving rivers, making solar energy available to people in villages who don't have access to it and have planted over 81 million trees.
So that's something that I'll always be part of. And in parallel to that, I've also been an investor in technology companies. I've run my own technology company, gone through founding that, seeing it through to exit. And for about 20 years I've been investing in technology companies. And more recently I thought, wouldn't it be a great idea to put these two things together and invest in this new area called climate tech. So I've been doing that for the last three years and we have two funds and we've invested in companies that are helping to decarbonize the zinc recycling industry, helping to remove our reliance on gas pipelines and the global greenhouse industry and other great companies like that. And then about early this year, I started doing some research and realized that our biggest problem right now according to the United Nations Environment program is actually methane emissions.
And I looked at what was happening in that space. The answer was very little, Just cause you've got a whole lot of money going into climate tech doesn't mean it's going into the areas that have the biggest payoff per dollar invested. And out of every dollar that was going into climate tech, only 2 cents was going into methane mitigation. So immediately I realized, well here's an opportunity to do something that's not been done. And you start to look at what are the technologies available that can do that. And very quickly you start converging upon Bitcoin mining is the best methodology to do it. Now that's a, will seem like a big leap of logic for a lot of people, but when you step through the logic, looking at it from an investor perspective, you just come to the inescapable conclusion that if you wanna do something cost effective to reduce our methane, you've got to electrify that.
You've gotta turn that gas that's leaking, that's going into the air from landfills and what have you. And you've gotta take it and you've gotta electrify it. And you can't sell it back to the grid in most cases cause it's too far away. It's not economical. So you're looking for onsite uses. And guess what? Bitcoin mining is the most economical. So that catalyzed me realizing, well, all this stuff about Bitcoin being bad for the environment is nonsense. It's a drop in the ocean. The energy usage compared to the opportunity, it's like criticizing solar technology in the 1990s for having a carbon footprint and saying we should banner it would've been premature. And in the same way, I saw exactly the same opportunity with Bitcoin to be as large a net positive for the environment as the photovoltaic industry has been as well. And the more that I started researching, the more I started finding not fewer, but more reasons why it could be good for the environment. So this is a little bit about my background and that's where I've ended up. And the more I research these areas, the more I just find out how deeply amazing this technology slash currency slash form of money slash whatever you wanna call it, called Bitcoiners.
Will Szamosszegi (00:13:09):
Yeah, no it, it's been fascinating following your research. We actually have internal research for anyone in SaaS mining to stay up to date with the entire conversation around Bitcoin, Bitcoin's impacts and the environment. And I do have to say a lot of that is dedicated and accredited to credited to your work, Daniel. So truly, truly, we're very grateful for you bringing this conversation forward. And I guess we have to thank Greenpeace for orange filling you <laugh>.
Daniel Batten (00:13:40):
Well, honestly, if it wasn't for that Greenpeace USA campaign, I never would've asked the deep questions about what really is the net energy footprint and what is the environmental benefit or cost of Bitcoin.
Will Szamosszegi (00:13:57):
Yeah, well one of the stats that stood out to me, and I can't remember where exactly if it was one of your tweets or in one of your articles, but it, it's I think it really puts it into perspective of bitcoin's effect on the environment and how quickly it can become carbon negative. I think it was your research that was showing that by 2030, if one quarter of Bitcoin's power was coming from vented methane, then it would be enough to make the entire Bitcoin network carbon negative more than 10 times over and reduce 2% of all global car dioxide emissions and
Daniel Batten (00:14:36):
Just carbon dioxide equivalent. Just Yeah, yeah, yeah. CO2 equivalent. We've gotta be accurate otherwise we'll we'll get told off. But CO2 equivalents, yes.
Will Szamosszegi (00:14:44):
Yeah. Yes. CO2 equivalent, not mistake. And just hearing that or saying that out loud, it just sounds so crazy to when it puts it into perspective how powerful of a lever bitcoin mining invented methane can be. So I just wanna pose the question to you and let you talk a little bit more about how you're coming to to that and how you just overall think about methane emissions and bitcoin mining coming together in the future.
Daniel Batten (00:15:17):
Yeah. Well it's interesting because the reason that I started looking at Bitcoin mining using vented methane to start with, I'll be very honest with you, the only reason that I went down that path first, rather than trying to calculate its net positive on the grid was it was a much easier mathematical equation. Trying to work out its benefit to the grid is really hard cause there is, grids are complex and you've gotta try and calculate what would happen if we did have Bitcoin mining versus we didn't in terms of profitability of solar renewables, what's gonna happen to grid into connection queues, et cetera. It gets hard fast. Whereas with the, or fled based methane Bitcoin mining, it's very easy mathematics and chemistry to work out. And so what you do is you look at the delta, you look at if we were not doing Bitcoin mining, how much methane would be freely emitting into the atmosphere?
And then we know that over a 20 year period, it's 84 times more warming than carbon dioxide. So that 84 times factor is a reason that it's so critically important. That's the reason the United Nations Environment Program said it's our biggest lever to reduce climate change in the next 25 years. And then you look at the amount of power that the Bitcoin network actually uses right now, it's gone up a little bit recently, when I did the calculation about six weeks ago, it was the amount of powers about 10 gigawatts and which isn't actually that much. And then you look at the fact that of that already my estimate says more than 50% of that is coming from sources which are not fossil fuel based. And then you think, okay, so to mitigate the remaining 50%, how much methane that would've gone into the atmosphere do you stop going into the atmosphere?
And then we apply that 84 times multiplier to say, Well, every to of methane you pull out has the equivalent of pulling out 84 tons of carbon dioxide or stopping or preventing that going to the atmosphere. And then you do your maths on it. And that's what it edited it for flared gas, we did it for vented methane, got those numbers validated by a couple of different climate scientists to make sure that what we were doing was accurate, took it to some environmental regulators again, to make sure it was accurate. And they said, Yep, that's exactly the way that we look at things. And then you turn that into an amount of power that's required and you say, Well, it looks like we only need what doesn't look like it is the equation works out. You need 184 megawatts of power coming from vent and methane to make the entire network carbon equivalent neutral, which is incredible. That's not that many megawatts.
And then if you look at what's already coming from vented sorry, from feed gas, we're already doing around 150 megawatts of power coming from flare gas right now. And that's most of that's come online the last 18 months. So then you say, Well, all we've gotta do is we've got to use vented methane rather than fled methane as our power source and the entire network can go carbon negative. And the reason that using vented methane rather than fled methane as a source is around 10 times more impactful in terms of making it carbon negative faster, is that when you're flaring it, you're already taking roughly 90%, 91%, according to science magazine, you're taking 91% of the methane out anyway through the flaring process. So the delta between had you flared it versus had you use that for Bitcoin, electricity generation for Bitcoin mining is less.
Whereas if you're going for landfills that are venting or farms that are venting or wastewater facilities that are venting and you stop them venting, you capture that and you use that as a power source of Bitcoin mining, it has a massive impact to the environment, which is net positive. And it has a massive impact in terms of reducing the emissions of the Bitcoin network overall. And it turns out that if you look at that figure of a hundred eighty four, a hundred eighty three, and you say, Well, imagine we do seven megawatts per month, which is actually slightly less than the amount of flat based methane mining that came online in the last year and a half. So imagine it, we go at a slightly less of a run rate then we come to the conclusion that by the fourth quarter of 2024, we'll be carbon negative. And then you've gotta cross validate that and talk to people who are actually doing these forms and talk to the vest things and the nodal powers of this world.
And there's a couple of other ones coming online now that are starting to look at vented based methane mining. And you look at their projections, you look at the amount of projects they've got on the pipeline and I was chatting to Adam just the other day and he said, Yep, actually just through ves be alone. If there was no one else in the world doing it, it was only ves been, the network would hit carbon negative in 2025 to 2026. That's just worth one Bitcoin mining company that shows you the power of using this as a power source.
Kent Halliburton (00:20:46):
Daniel, I've been thinking quite a bit as an environmentalist myself about, Oh,
Daniel Batten (00:20:54):
Kent Halliburton (00:20:55):
Yeah. Can you hear me okay? Hello?
Will Szamosszegi (00:21:00):
Yeah, yeah, I can hear you, Ken.
Kent Halliburton (00:21:02):
Daniel Batten (00:21:03):
Can you hear me?
Will Szamosszegi (00:21:05):
Yeah, I can hear you, Daniel.
Daniel Batten (00:21:06):
Kent Halliburton (00:21:08):
So I've been thinking about my career.
Daniel Batten (00:21:11):
Did you lose me way through there?
Will Szamosszegi (00:21:14):
No, that was incredible. And <laugh>,
Daniel Batten (00:21:17):
I just went silent. I thought, Oh, if I been myself in the last, Oh no, no, two minutes,
Will Szamosszegi (00:21:22):
That would've been a shame if you had, because that was incredible. And it really helped just it least for me personally, wrap my head around that number. And what was craziest about he hearing that whole explanation is that the way you went about that calculation is actually much more conservative than I just thought from seeing best statistic. On the surface, it's
Daniel Batten (00:21:44):
Actually pretty conservative. And fact the interesting thing is a lot of people will look at these sorts of numbers. The same thing happened in the solar industry. People are very bad at understanding the impact of exponential growth and tend to consistently underestimate look like if we look at the underestimation of the percentage of the grid that would become renewable, all the estimates through all the international energy agencies have been underestimated by an order of magnitude. And that's because even though it's been growing exponentially, people have looked at it and assumed that where we'll disregard the exponential growth and we'll just assume that it's gonna be linear from this point forward. But when you actually do the maths and you work out, okay, if we look at the current growth line of one source and then we assume it's going to be less than this current source, not even more, less, you end up hitting that point very fast and suddenly you end up coming up with some conclusions that look on the surface like they're ridiculously fast.
It can't possibly be that fast. But if you step through the logic, you think actually, if anything that's conservative as you say. In fact, there's a couple of assumptions behind that that I've made that have proven to be too conservative. One, for example, is something that Adam Wright pointed me to. I had assumed that when you burn the methane that you have to factor in that yes, whilst you're burning methane, which is 84 times more warming than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period, you're also releasing carbon dioxide. So you have to, that's like that counts against you. So you have to count that. And then Adam found some research recently says, Actually no, what happens is that carbon dioxide would've been released into the atmosphere anyway through the process of organic decay. So that's counted as part of a Biogen process. And indeed, when methane goes to the atmosphere for however long it's staying there now, and then it decays into carbon dioxide.
So the I P C says it, you have a landfill and you are burning that methane and it releases carbon dioxide. Well, firstly, that would've happened anyway. And secondly, that carbon dioxide is part of a Biogen process, so that doesn't count against you. And what that means is the net emissions are actually higher than my calculation is not lower. And then there was a second data point where I looked at the amount of underestimation that was done within the oil and gas industry of our emissions, and we'd looked at some data from the environmental defense fund and it looked like we're underestimating things by a factor of three. So we factor that into the calculations. And then recently there was a report that came out and said, Actually, no, we're not underestimating our fed gas emissions by factor of three. We're underestimating by factor of five.
So again, I've actually tried to be conservative at every single standpoint and ask, New data's coming in, it's showing that actually the capacity of Bitcoin mining a need for mitigation of methane is actually higher, not less. And then a third thing, which I think Troy Cross originally brought my attention to, and Margo pays as well, was a really good point. And that's that methane isn't decaying as fast in the atmosphere. It used to be that it went into the atmosphere and after nine to 12 years, it biodegrades and or gets chemically deconstructed by these things called hydroxyls and it becomes carbon monoxide. Now what's happening is, for a number of reasons, one of which is these wildfires, which then carbon monoxide into the air. And what that does is it's like imagine these little particles called hydroxides that have been attacking methane that's likely a food source.
And then they see carbon monoxide and they go, Oh, that's a yummier food source. We're gonna attack that. That's gonna be nicer for us to chemically attack. And so they do. So they go for the carbon monoxide in preference to the methane. So the thing's hanging around in the episode even longer, which means that even the factors and the multipliers we've created around how much more of a global warmer methane is relative to carbon dioxide, it's actually getting worse and worse and worse. And all these global warming factors will have to be recalculated. So once you factor all those things in which we can't yet, so they have to be remeasured again, what it's gonna point to is methane is not only the strongest lever to remove to reduce climate change, but it is incredibly, incredibly urgent. We have to take action now. There will be global feedback loops that become irreversible if we don't.
And the action is required pre 2030 and the release of massive amounts of methane through North Stream one that just makes things even more pressing than ever. And the world actually has very, very few solutions. And so when you have environmental organizations actively attacking through ignorance at best through vested interest, at worst a technology that actually is one of the very few in the world that can mitigate our most pressing environmental concerns, it's actually an own goal for the entire environmental movement. And the time has comforted to stop, to get educated and to stop causing environmental own goals for the entire planet. Frankly,
Kent Halliburton (00:27:18):
Daniel, I couldn't agree with you more. And I think back through my solar career, which started in 2005 and fighting through a lot of that discrediting belief by a lot of folks looking at those linear models and think it's a bit analogous to what we're facing here in Bitcoin today. And the magnitude of it is much bigger though. And my pressing question is how do we engage in orange pill that community? Because it seems like once that community flips, the entire biggest achilles heel piece of FUD to Bitcoin will suddenly be removed. So it seems pressing for the planet that we accomplish that. But my conversations with other environmentalists, it's such a daunting task. How do we actually accomplish that?
Daniel Batten (00:28:22):
It isn't a very daunting task and it's partly daunting cause you're not starting with people who have no knowledge. You're starting with people who have misinformation. And so you're starting below ground zero. And so as you will have noticed, you are not always talking to people who are open minded and curious. You're talking to people who have come to believe certain things because of the misinformation that they have read and consumed which is not by chance, not by accidents, by design. It's because that whenever you have a new disruptive technology that comes to the world, you always have a reaction from those who get disrupted to do whatever possible to launch whatever attack vectors are gonna work to stop that disruptive technology usurping them. And so what have we have seen right now is that Bitcoin very clearly disintermediates central banks and central bankers. So do you think the central bankers are just gonna stay around and say, Hey, well look, it looks like our time is done.
Let's go and do some gardening and we'll usher in this new superior technology course. They're not. They've invested their whole lives in a certain way of being, and that's given them, afforded them certain benefits, certain power, and they're gonna do anything in their powers to hold onto that ethical or not truthful or not doesn't matter. But if you repeat a message often enough, then people will treat it as though it is truth. And when you look at the sources of this misinformation, then it all points to the same source. And that's the central bankers and the movement to create central bank digital currencies. So if you look at the green piece campaign, it was founded it was an association, pen win green piece, the environmental working group and Ripple. Ripple are not just another coin creator. They are creating their own central bank digital currency.
If you look at the origins of all, almost all the misinformation that is coming out as a single website from an employee of a central bank, which is providing its own central bank digital currency, these are not accidents. This is something we see repeatedly through history. And so what they have done is they've realized, and actually Dennis Porter did an amazing deconstruction of this which I hadn't considered, and it really shaped my thinking. And that was on a Twitter basis with you guys a couple of weeks ago when he was saying that politically, once you've got the environmentalist on your side, that's an incredibly powerful political tool. And I hadn't considered that. But he, he's absolutely right because whether you agree with the environment this or not, they tend to be the most focal the most galvanizing of communities and the ones who will create the most havoc for you if you don't get them on board.
And so what the central bankers have done to get the environmental movement on board, basically to defend central bankers and do their work is brilliant. I mean it's horrendous, but from a tactical point of view, from a psychological point of view, you've gotta admire it. It's a real coup. And how ironic is it that you've got green peace, environmental work, basically doing the dirty work of the central bankers and they don't even realize that. Now you can't just say that, Oh, <laugh>, if someone comes to you and they're launching some Bitcoin fud, that is not the right response. So to your question, how do you possibly respond to that? I think there's a couple of principles, and the reason I go into in detail how it's moved is you've gotta have empathy for the other person. For me, it's easy because I'll be very honest, I went down that path initially as well.
I initially said, Yeah, Bitcoin is bad for the environment, this is bad because I believed the fud and it was really only thanks to Willie Woo <laugh>, good friend of mine who said, What are you talking about, Daniel? This is nonsense. Listen to this video from Andrea Antonopoulos where he will outline what it's actually doing for the grid and I'll listen to that. And that just arrested me going down and using all my passion and all of my desire to do the good thing for the environment, but going completely the wrong direction because I believed the FUD from the mainstream media. So that was a very critical intercept. I could have become an antibi Bitcoin very easily, but that arrested it and it caused me to look deeper to do my own research and realize, oh my goodness, this information is not backed up from data.
There is a vested interest behind it. And if you look at it analytically, the case for Bitcoin for the environment stacks up and the one anti Bitcoin for the environment simply does not stack up. The data does not stack up. And that's why we see the only level playing a field debate that ever occurred ever about pro versus anti Bitcoin. In the environment where we had Alex Dre on the central banker's side and we had Lynn Alden on the Bitcoin's side, the Bitcoin argument crushed the anti Bitcoin argument, not by a little bit absolutely crushed. And you went from 60% of people believing Bitcoin was a threat to the environment to only 42% believing it was a threat to the environment within one hour. And the reason for that was that every single anti Bitcoin argument didn't have a reply. It was based on misinformation that could be easily deconstructed.
So there's different ways that you would handle it if someone is coming in neutral versus someone is coming in already having swallowed a decent serving of misinformation. Now in the harder case when they've already slighted a whole lot of disinformation I treat it like triage and I'll three different possibilities. Possibility number one is that all I need to do is say, that's nonsense. Read this, do your own research and I'll go off and do that and I'll come up with a different viewpoint. That's what Willie did with me. And because I'm someone who's given to doing my own research, I did it and that was all he needed to do. He didn't need to try and persuade me that's gonna be the minority of people. The second possibility is that no matter what you say, they're not gonna listen because they've already calcified a belief system and they will defend that where the true false.
And that's true because of a psychological phenomenon which is, I can't remember the name given it to it but there's a particular term which is given to when you believe a certain belief and you'll offend it. And every bit of information that you hear, you'll actually turn it around and use it to calcify your own belief. So if that's already happened, there's actually no, and you've gotta make a decision early on this is actually a good use of my energy. It may feel nice to debate with that person, but it's a debate, not a conversation. And then what's important is that group in the middle, that group in the middle who they believe something, but they're still curious. And that's the only group that I would engage with. Cause I've only got so much time, I'm not interested in having debates. I'm interested in conversations which have a possibility of someone coming to a new understanding.
And I'm not attached to whether they change their mind or not. Cause I don't have to convert every environmentalist who thinks that Bitcoin is bad for the environment. I think it's pro in order to do my part in changing the narrative. But if we can get a few people, if we can get one out of every 10 people at one of the environmental organizations, that's enough that can flip the entire narrative when they're in the organization. Cause then they, not us, but they from the inside can create the rest of the change. So the first thing is really just deciding is this a good use of my time or energy or not? Is this person open or not? And I find the best way to do that is say something to the effect of, Well, I understand what you're saying. I actually used to share that belief.
This is an area I've looked into deeply and researched. Would you be interested in hearing some of what I've learned? And if they say yes, then I'll share. And if they say no, I'll say, Have a nice day. It's that simple. So look, I'll give you an example. When I was meeting with a investor into our second fund, caught up for a coffee and he was asking me about the performance of the fund. And he said, Oh by the way, what are you doing right now? And I said, Well, I'm actually doing some research on bitcoin mining. And the moment I said, Bitcoin mining, his entire body language stiffened. And he folded his arms and he was like, I thought you cared for the environment. And I smiled and I said, Well, sounds like you've got some opinions about but mining. Why don't you share them?
And he shared a few different opinions that he'd heard. And I just listened and I said, Well, I can understand why you would say those things. This is an area I've looked into deeply. Would you like to hear some of the conclusions that I've come to? And he said, Yeah, go ahead. So I think this approach is very useful. Now what happened was I looked at it and I said, Well, I think there's three things that you said that I'd like to talk to. And I talked to each one sequence. I didn't go into the details of everything about Bitcoin. I just talked to those three specific misconceptions that backed up with data, backed up with instances within 15. He said to me, Well
That's new information. Have you considered your third fund? Been a bitcoin mining fund? And I just laughed because he was serious. He had actually flipped his perspective completely from very antibi Bitcoin based on his environmental values to seeing that it could be a positive for the environment that occurred in 15 minutes. So it's absolutely possible, but it's absolutely critical that from our point of view, we're treating people's respect. We're not making them wrong from holding a viewpoint that's different from our own. We look back to our own human frailties and areas where we've made mistakes based on misinformation we've heard and we've all done it. And when we've come to a place of new understanding and we're not being attached to what they do with that information is critically important. We can important, we can influence their thing, but we can't control that. We can't control that.
That's not our role. And so that mindset of wanting to help people to serve them, just to simply share, to have conversations, not debates, I would say that the mindset is more important than what you actually say. And the reason for that is if, just look back to people who have influenced you in your life. And my bet is the people who make you feel wrong for holding a particular belief probably weren't that influential in causing you to change your belief. The people who insulted you for holding a belief probably were even less successful. In fact, they probably caused you to hold onto your belief and defend it more vigorously. The people who are curious, who seem to actually have a desire to help you and serve you, they were the people you probably opened up to. So the more we can be that sort of person, honestly, that is way more important than what you actually say. So that would be the biggest encouragement I give to anyone.
Logan Chipkin (00:40:41):
Yeah, it's a very eloquent message, Daniel. And one thing that I was taking away while you were talking is cuz you're talking about the numbers going down basically on energy foot. And the good news is we only have up to go from here in the sense of six months ago, a year ago, we did not have people like you and Troy Cross and Dennis Porter and the work that we're doing at SaaS Mining, if I may say so, basically fighting against the climate disaster narrative from a Bitcoin mining and Bitcoin perspective. So that makes me feel very optimistic. And with that, I just wanna say, Daniel, I know you only have about nine minutes left, so if anyone in the audience has a question for Daniel, please raise your hand and we'll get your question up for everyone to hear.
Daniel Batten (00:41:27):
I, I've actually arranged things so I can be on a little bit longer if you wanna go a little bit longer. So that's all good.
Logan Chipkin (00:41:33):
Oh, fantastic. Yes, that's great. Kent, did you have something to say then?
Kent Halliburton (00:41:39):
Yeah, I was curious, Daniel. I feel like I'm getting a life lesson here on how to be a better human being, which seems to be part of the Bitcoin journey in general from you today. And I had a recent exchange with somebody in the environmental community, and one of the key takeaways that I had was that this person was calcified and I in their belief and that they needed to hear the message from somebody that was in their group. Correct. And so it makes me wonder if we need to be targeting specific individuals in the environmental community and if it's even possible to have those sort of belief changing conversations on Twitter period or if they really need to happen person to person, like at conferences.
Daniel Batten (00:42:41):
Yeah, I think it's a combination. Twitter in an open forum doesn't tend to be such a great way for my experience to change beliefs because it's a public forum and people have such a strong desire, not to be wrong publicly, but the moment that you take it into a private forum, even if it's by message automatically, people will be more receptive because they're not having to think about how they're appearing to their followers or to people who they care about on Twitter. So you'll tend to get slightly more authentic behavior. So one thing that I've learned from actually Troy Cross has been amazing at this and he's done I think a lot more of this than I have. And it's just at key points in a Twitter conversation, we'll say, Hey look, it sounds like this might be worth taking off Twitter. I don't think it's the best form. Let's have a chat. And has just done some amazing work with journalists, with people in the environmental movement who have either changed their perspective or have become open. And sometimes that's the victory. Sometimes the victory is not that they become raving orange peeled Bitcoin super fans, but just that they are curious and they're open and they haven't yet made up their minds or they've unmade up their minds that it's bad. That's also a victory.
And so there's journalists that, and again, I'm just one of many people who's doing this amazing work, but there's a lot of people here who are doing this, reaching out to journalists, finding the ones who are curious, finding the ones who are not just, again, they've calcified a belief system but are asking serious questions. Finding the ones within the environmental movement and just talking to them. That's important because we've only got so many hours in the day. And if we waste our time and energy talking to people who are never gonna change our minds, well one of two things will happen. See two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. So every time you have a conversation with somebody who's never gonna change their mind, that's a person you could have talked to who could have changed their minds, that's lost the opportunity to influence in a positive way. Secondly, you probably come outta that conversation exhausted and frustrated which is not a great state. And so it's not gonna be fun for you. It's not gonna be fun for the other person either. So why not utilize that time just to find the people who are open and receptive? And so getting very good at quickly going with respect and love. Next.
Now to give you an example, there's a person in within Greenpeace who now it's easier, well maybe harder because he's a friend of mine. Sometimes it's actually harder influencing your own friends. And I've been talking to him for a long time, he's quite senior and one of the Greenpeace branches and just talking to him about the Greenpeace US narrative. And I haven't even talked to him on the phone, it's just been an exchange through Messenger. And it's been really interesting cause the last exchange I had with him, he had about six different misconceptions I would say about Bitcoin. And I just talked to each one in sequence, just hearing each one out and giving it a counter. And then by the end of the sixth one he said, Actually, that's a really compelling argument. Let me ask some questions of Greenpeace us. So for me, that's a really positive outcome.
So he still wasn't pro Bitcoin, but what happened through that exchange was he softened his position. And so to give you an idea, often when you're talking to people, there's not one, but there's many, many misconceptions that come together. And it's not just misconceptions, but it's actually the absence of conception as well. What I mean by that is people just don't understand the value of Bitcoin and particularly within the environmental movement, what I've found is, and this is something that's surprised me and it was different to the angle that I initially took. The best angle I found to lead with is not to try to talk about how Bitcoin is really good for the environment. To an environmentalist, it might sound strange and counterintuitive, but bear with me. The best angle is actually to talk about the positive value of Bitcoin for human rights. Because just about everyone in the environmental movement cares equally as passionately about human rights.
And before you start talking about how Bitcoin is good for the environment, the major reason people have a problem with it, people have a problem with it primarily cuz they don't understand that Bitcoin has any value. There's a whole lot of technologies that we use right now that have a carbon footprint, the internet being one of them. But because no one disputes the fact that it has events value, we're somehow okay with that. And we give that a compassionate pass. The reason that's not the case with Bitcoin is that it's utility, it's value to humanity. That story has just not been told. So the work that people like Gladstein from the Human Rights Foundation is doing to tell the story about how Bitcoin has been used in the developing world as a tool for human rights and just the sheer magnitude of how that's helping.
I've actually found that is one of the things in environmentalist care about the most. Cause they just don't know. And there's no disputing that. There's no disputing the fact that there are women in Afghanistan now who are able to receive pay because they have Bitcoin that couldn't previously. There's no disputing that there are tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees who when they left for foreign lands and part of their own country were starting up with something rather than starting up with nothing. Cause they had Bitcoin. And there's no disputing that There are organizations around the world, human rights organizations that are fighting oppressive regimes that would've had their bank accounts frozen and would not have been able to continue to finance their human rights movements had it not been for the ability to receive Bitcoin. And most people in the environmental movement just know nothing of this whatsoever.
And when they find out, they're like, Oh my goodness, we were tweeting just last week about this human rights movement. We didn't realize that they were getting payments through Bitcoin and that would've been frozen otherwise. And that's an eye opener to them. And then you say, Yeah, there's a whole untold story. And then you can say, Look, do you know why it's not told? Or well, why isn't it told? Say well, because now you can start to talk about Bitcoin and how it intermediates central banks and now they're curious. And they'll say, Well, who are the people who stand to lose most from Bitcoin central bankers? Why? Cause it dist mediates them. They have a vested interest in the existing financial structures that give them the license to print money at will to the detriment of the middle class and the workers in society and to the benefit of those who are already close to the money. And Bitcoin threatens this whole reality. So everything you're reading has been propagated by those who stand most to lose. And then you give the evidence of that so it doesn't sound like a conspiracy theory.
And you say, So look what most of what you're reading, two things have been true. Number one, you just haven't heard the story of its value. And number two, every counterexample ever the ever existed has been amplified to the max. And every story about Bitcoin actually using renewable based energy has just not been told. And that's why you've come to believe what you believe that I find as a better approach. Start with talking about the value, then people start to be curious and then you can say, And now let's look at the environmental equation. Here's what it really does and here's its real potential to actually part of the climate change solution. And now they're a bit more open cause they can see the value that this technology has as opposed to it just a Ponzi scheme or it's just a speculative asset. I think if you start with that point and you don't investigate its value first, you're a little bit on the back foot.
And the other recommendation I'd have is not to get into arguments trying to defend that it's less bad. That's a mistake. And one thing that I observed early on was that there were a lot of people who were trying to rationalize or wasn't as damaging to the environment. And that's a losing debate. Cause the best you can possibly get to is parity and it's just not inspiring and you're on the defensive. So it's about flipping it around and saying, Well, I'm not here to tell you that it's less bad for the environment. I'm here to tell you that it's a positive for the environment. And I'm not gonna tell you that because I want to believe it or cause my self interest. I'm here to tell you that because I'm a climate activist, I keep passionately for the environment, but I'm also an analyst. I'm not gonna believe things simply because people tell me.
And my analysis is lead to be me, to believe that supporting Bitcoin is the best possible expression of my values as someone who cares deeply and passionately for the environment. And that's a more inspiring message to be telling and it's a more inspiring message to be hearing as well. And it flips it around. And the other thing it does is people aren't expecting it. They're not expecting you to say it's good for the environment. They're expecting you to play on their turf and to say, to try and justify what's not as bad or I should get less attention than it does, they're not expecting for you to turn it around and say, No, no, no, there's another story you haven't heard. So I'd say those are three or four things that can make a huge difference.
Will Szamosszegi (00:52:40):
Yeah. Daniel, you've got the wheels turning in my head right now. Just as a quick check in, do you have enough time for one more question?
Daniel Batten (00:52:49):
Yes, I do. Go ahead. Yeah, I'm good for about another 10 minutes.
Will Szamosszegi (00:52:52):
Oh, incredible. Great. Yeah, I really want to ask this one cuz as you were speaking a lot of ideas were popping up and it just seems like at the end of the day, we need a lot more of these people to go down that journey that you went down. And whether it be based on close friends of theirs or people who are delivering that message in the proper way or going on their own wanting to go down their own journey and do that research. It seems like it's something that's important to do. And I'm just curious as to how you think would the best way to bring in prominent environmentalists or individuals who might be more calcified in their current beliefs that haven't gone down and really taken the time to learn about Bitcoin mining and how it can solve a lot of the problems that we face as a society with global warming.
How can we bring a lot of these individuals in? You mentioned how quickly Lynn Alden's debate was able to flip a large percentage of people on their views from anti Bitcoin mining to pro bitcoin mining. So I'm just curious as to what you think would be the best way to go about doing that and how we can get more of those conversations to the forefront. Because that just really seems like within this whole narrative and getting the truth out there, it seems to be a very effective way to having people actually go and wanting to learn and being more open minded to learn about Bitcoin mining.
Daniel Batten (00:54:20):
Yeah, I think you've hit the nail on the head with the comment earlier, which is that you find the people within the environmental movement who are open and then you work with those people and then you leave it to them to do the inside job to influence within their organization. You don't try and take on everyone. You don't try and take on the people whose beliefs have been calcified. You say, Hey, that person's gonna be the last to believe. They're gonna be the last man or woman standing. They're gonna be holding out saying <laugh>, the earth is flat when everyone else is saying it's round. So don't take that person head on. Remember the church took more than a hundred years to formally accept that the earth revolved round the sun even after it was proven scientifically a hun more than a hundred years. So there are some slow forces that work here sometimes. So we've gotta go for the people who are just suggestible near the edges, who are open minded. They will do the job with the rest of them. That's technically important. It's also important in terms of our energy that we don't try to take on people who just aren't gonna hear. Cause it's only gonna frustrate us and it's probably gonna galvanize them more against Bitcoin than anything.
One thing I would say as well is that I think there's incredible value. I was talking to one person in the Bitcoin community who said, Well, we should just ignore the environmentalists. They're not important. We need to focus on mainstream society. And I think that's wrong. We need to focus on everyone, the politicians, the people within the business community, the traders, the environmentalists, and the environmental support. And again, cause of the point that Dennis Porter brought out. And that's their passion. And that's why the central bankers have sent to influence them because the passion. And they know that they'll do a lot of their job for them, but you get the environmental movements on side, you whip with them, you don't get despaired or frustrating and angry, have empathy. They've just been fed some misinformation in there around some other people who are within a particular environment who are reflecting that same misinformation back to them. But again, if we can start to influence key people within that movement, that's gonna change everything. And already, I would say that it's the people who are focused on the environment within the Bitcoin community who are best place to do that because we're leading with our values and we're having those dialogues. So the more people within the Bitcoin community who really have a deep
Concern about climate, who have a deep belief that Bitcoin can be part of the solution we are the ones who are gonna really flip that narrative because we are the ones who, when we are having the conversations, people will see that we are having this conversation because of our values, not cause of our self-interest.
Will Szamosszegi (00:57:26):
Yeah. After listening, after listening to this whole conversation here, and I, I've personally learned so much from you on this Twitter spaces, and it seems like we gotta get a blog out on our end outlining a lot of these key points and sharing it because it is truly remarkable all the work that you've done and all of the insights that you've brought forth. I'm still trying to get my head wrapped around that those figures of how quickly Bitcoin mining becomes a carbon negative consumer of energy and well,
Daniel Batten (00:58:03):
I've gotta say it's been a two way street cuz it's also been deeply inspired and energized by being part of this community. And for me it's been a real joy cuz I never imagined that I'd be part of a community of people working peer to peer sharing information freely with each other, helping each other as part of a grassroots movement that was good for humanity and goodly environment and was based on really sound data and analysis with smart people who didn't take things at face value. And so to be part of that community has been just incredibly inspiring and energizing for me. And on the investment side, it's been amazing because all the different bitcoin mining organizations and bitcoin miners that I've talked to have been so incredibly cooperative with each other. You don't normally get that in business communities normally people guard information, they keep it jealousy to themselves.
They wanna protect their intellectual property, their trade secrets. That's not for the most part what people in the Bitcoin community do. And I believe that's because transparency and consensus and peer to peer sovereignty, these principles are enshrined in our dna. It's enshrined algorithmically within Bitcoin itself. And the original seed of creation of Bitcoin was an act of the transcendence of the ego where even the inventor was pseudonym, anonymous, pseudonymous have trouble with that word. We didn't know who your shoe, they what. So it was incredible and it's been deeply inspiring to be part of that movement. I've never seen people in any grassroots movement work just so collaboratively together to that common cause in such a deep thinking way. So I've been energized by this movement as well. And I think that's actually our greatest resource is the way that we work with each other. We are a grassroots movement. And that's why that when a grass movement gets attacked, it doesn't work and it actually weakens the attacker, not the attack.
Logan Chipkin (01:00:24):
Very well said Daniel. So we have one question from a listener. It sounds like it might be tongue in cheek, but I think there's actually a serious point to it. I don't know how much more time you have though, so I don't wanna hold you
Daniel Batten (01:00:36):
Over. I've got about another five minutes to go
Logan Chipkin (01:00:37):
Ahead. Okay. Okay. So here's the question. It's related to what we've been talking about but Jasper de Reed says, When will Greta Berg move over to the Bitcoin camp? She has now? Yeah, she has now moved against the current society as a whole, it seems. I think I know what that's referring to, who can convince her? So I've never seen her speak about Bitcoin, but I do know she's kind of come recently against the whole Western system, for lack of a better phrase. So I guess a more general way of phrasing it is what do we do about the large environmentalist influencers who as of now are completely diametrically opposed to everything we stand for?
Daniel Batten (01:01:15):
Yeah, I haven't heard her speak either way on Bitcoin, so I don't think she has an opinion on it. Where I would say that if you were to want to have a conversation with someone such as a greater of this world is to find the shared values. It's where it always starts. Same point that Dennis Porter was making, when you're orange pearling politician, you have to find what the values are and speak to them. So if you're talking to someone who, against all the so-called Western values, you say, Well what values are these? And what are you against? And where are the expressions of these values that you're against? And you'll probably find that a lot of things that she says are very similar to what a lot of Bitcoiners believe as well about the power that exists in elites who are unelected, who get to control, who get to diverge wealth to create more wealth and equality. She might not know necessarily about the exact mechanisms by which the Fed prints money and how that works, but she probably suspects that strongly.
And I would imagine as well probably has some cynicism about the the imf, the value that it creates by helping developing countries probably doesn't think too highly of the world Economic Forum, probably doesn't have a high opinion of central bankers. These are things that bitcoiners share as values. So you start with the common values we have and the common understandings we have, and you just show how, actually look where we're on the same page. This is where we share values and this is where we share a pragmatic solution that can make the better the world a better place. And this is how Bitcoin specifically is part of the solution. And I'd add one more thing. I don't tend to go around saying Bitcoin fixes this, or at least I try not to in this, it does in isolated circumstances, but it fix the money, fix the world. I don't actually agree with
However, if you don't fix the money, you can't fix the world. It's one component. So we've also got to be careful, whilst we are very enthusiastic about Bitcoin and acknowledging that it's not the whole solution. Consumerism and greed existed long before the Fear Standard and a lot of the environmental challenges, sometimes there's people, we say it's all the course of inflation. I think that's a stretch. I think that it contributes to environmental problems. But we've had environmental challenges through inflationary, deflationary and deflationary periods of human civilization. So we got to be careful not to impose ideology on people and not to overreach what Bitcoin can do. It's part of the solution. It's not the full solution. Technology isn't the full solution. It's gonna require change of consciousness people working together, it's gonna require One point I made is just addressing the fact that we still expect that we are gonna gain happiness from buying stuff, or Bitcoin doesn't fundamentally address that and help us incentivize to store more.
So also being clear about Bitcoin as part of it, but not overreaching, because otherwise it's just going to look hyperbolic, what we are saying. And there's always a danger of that when you're passionate about something, that you make statements that don't have a basis in reality or that overstretch or neglect or that simplify. And I'm probably as guilty as anyone and overreaching sometimes. And that's where important, It's important that our peers pull us back and say, Hey, I think you're probably claiming more than you should. You probably won't be more effectively claim at this level rather than at that level. So those would be the key components to bringing on the greatest of this world.
Logan Chipkin (01:05:00):
Very well said. Yeah, I agree with that. I like the idea, like you said, we were talking with Dennis Porters kind of meet people where they are, I think is one of the main takeaways from today's talk when trying to orange peel people in addition to all the environmental information you gave us. So Daniel, I know you're coming up short on time. We really appreciate it. And again, we appreciate your flexibility coming in 15 minutes earlier. I had a feeling that would really elevate the conversation just to have that extra time. And Adida did. And once again, congrats on your piece. We did link to it just below the Twitter spaces link. So if anyone wants to read that in Bitcoin magazine, I highly recommend it. So thank you again, Daniel.
Daniel Batten (01:05:40):
Hey, awesome. Thanks for putting on this event. I think it's really valuable what you're doing and it's making a difference.
Logan Chipkin (01:05:48):
That means a lot to all of us. And I'll just say next week we have Margo, Margo Paez she goes by Jen rso on Twitter, and we'll talk to her a lot about Bitcoin and energy, Bitcoin and environmentalism. And I wanna hear her take on how Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining are perceived in academia, which I'm sure Troy also has a lot of opinions. I know Troy, you're in the audience but we'll see what she has to say. So definitely join us next week. It'll be the regular time Thursday at 3:30 PM Eastern. So look forward to seeing you there. And thanks everyone. You have a great rest of your evening.
Will Szamosszegi (01:06:27):
Thanks again, Daniel. It was a lot of fun.
Daniel Batten (01:06:30):
Will Szamosszegi (01:06:33):
Thank you, Daniel.
Logan Chipkin (01:06:36):
All right. Take care everyone. Bye.
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