Welcome to the 10th edition of the Swan Signal monthly newsletter.
Bitcoin hit a new all-time high of $62,000 this past month, pulled back to $48,000 and is now right back up to $59,000. Historically, in bull markets, this means Bitcoin is about ready to start another leg up.
In the meantime, we hope you find our monthly Bitcoin newsletter valuable!
In this month’s letter:
- Liftoff: a short essay on an important topic
- A curated list of recent Bitcoin content from Swan and around the web
- Behind the scenes updates from the Swan team
Liftoff: 5 Misconceptions about Bitcoin’s Energy Use
You’ve probably seen headlines such as “Bitcoin boils the oceans” or comparisons like “Bitcoin uses as much energy as Greece.”
Time to explore the top 5 misconceptions about Bitcoin’s energy use…
1. Claim: Bitcoin doesn’t do anything useful, therefore its energy use is not worth it
Most people critiquing Bitcoin for energy consumption assume Bitcoin doesn’t provide any value. For example, clothes dryers consume way more energy than Bitcoin but no one complains about it because we agree they add value.
There is a reason a decentralized protocol with no marketing budget went from zero to $1T market cap in 12 years. The roughly 100M Bitcoin users value it.
Now the critics might say “well the only use case for Bitcoin is speculation, which is bad.” In a recent Video, Alex Gladstein explains how Bitcoin is protecting human rights and Yan Pritzker list a wide range of “non-speculative uses for Bitcoin.”
2. Claim: Each Bitcoin transaction is responsible for [insert large number] CO2 emissions
This argument simply divides the total energy consumption of bitcoin by the 300,000 transactions per day settled by the network. This approach results in very high “energy cost per transaction.” Let’s break this down…
Bitcoin has a high fixed energy cost to maintain security, however each marginal transaction is very efficient. This is similar to building software which requires large upfront capital investment (high fixed cost). However, once the software is finished, you can push it out to nearly infinite users at low cost.
The economic density per transaction is increasing. Said another way, a Bitcoin “transaction” is not the same as one “payment.” For example, a single Bitcoin transaction could support one million end user payments over layer 2 networks like Lightning.
3. Claim: Bitcoin’s Proof of Work is “inefficient”
Bitcoin’s Proof of Work function appears inefficient at first glance. However, there are no alternatives if we want a secure, decentralized, sound monetary system.
Critics will also attack Bitcoin’s energy consumption without comparing the relative energy costs of other known financial systems such as our current fiat monetary system, the petrodollar.
The short answer is a monetary system built on Bitcoin consumes orders of magnitude fewer resources than our existing financial system. Dan Held explores this in “PoW is Efficient”.
4. Claim: Bitcoin hogs local power resources driving prices up
This is simply not true. Bitcoin miners are only profitable when they find the lowest cost energy on the planet. The cheapest energy is “nonrival energy” meaning it doesn’t compete with consumers.
Instead, most Bitcoin miners consumed stranded, curtailed, or otherwise wasted energy. For example, China overbuilt hydroelectric power sources. During the rainy season they produce way more energy than can be consumed so instead of wasting it they happily sell it to Bitcoin miners.
Interestingly, Bitcoin can run exclusively on “nonrival energy” since Bitcoin consumes less energy than the total nonrival energy produced today.
5. Claim: Bitcoin consumes dirty energy
Critics who make this claim fail to examine the energy mix that Bitcoin consumes. Let’s look at the data.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEW), nearly 28% of global energy production came from renewals in 2020.
On the other hand, Coinshares estimates that 73% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption comes from renewable sources. By comparison, Bitcoin is leading the charge in renewables. In summary, Bitcoin is not boiling the oceans and instead it’s very good for the world.
We’ve pulled together some great Bitcoin content for you…
Bitcoin Content Showcase
Architecting the internet with Bitcoin’s Sphinx Chat on Tales From the Crypt Podcast Walk away with an understanding of the big vision for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. In short, the future is already here. Content monetization without ads, encrypted chat over Lightning, Banking the unbanked, and much more.
Aker Shareholder Letter announcing new Bitcoin venture (Seetee) The second richest man in Norway launched a new Bitcoin subsidiary. Notably, they praise Bitcoin mining as an important industry that’s net positive for the world.
Bitcoin’s Layer 2 Solutions with Ryan Gentry on The Investors Podcast Learn how Bitcoin is extending its capabilities with layer 2 solutions such as Lightning Network. This one might blow your mind. The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.
Highlights from Swan’s Content
Swan is dedicated to producing great content to educate and raise awareness about Bitcoin. Our blog, Swan Signal, features thoughts and opinions on Bitcoin from the Swan team and industry experts.
Our weekly live broadcast, Swan Signal Live, pairs notable guests for compelling discussions about Bitcoin and economics. The live broadcast is then published as audio on the Swan Signal Podcast feed. Subscribe to receive new episodes.
Bitcoin: Fee-Based Security Modeling by Lyn Alden Lyn explores Bitcoin’s security model and how it will evolve as we transition from a “subsidy based security model” to a “fee based security model.”
Swan Signal Live 53: Gigi and John Vallis Philosophical discussion of Bitcoin’s relationship with time, the bridge between the physical and the digital, and orange pilling the smartest people on the planet.
Swan Signal Live 54: Vijay Boyapati and Lyn Alden Bitcoin market cycles, macro economic outlook, NFTs, and game theory. First time this incredible duo has recorded a conversation together.
Behind the Scenes at Swan
- Swan just celebrated its first birthday! We’ve grown to tens of thousands of members, thousands of bitcoins transferred to long-term hodlers, and we are eternally grateful to Bitcoin and all our members.
- We are accepting international clients at swanbitcoin.com/international for instant buys with wire transfers.
- Swan Private: Our concierge service that guides corporations and high net worth individuals toward building generational wealth with Bitcoin is live. Our clients are onboarded in days instead of weeks/months which is common at Coinbase/Gemini.
- Swan in the media: Brady was interviewed on Keiser Report, Gigi was interviewed on What Bitcoin Did
- Clubhouse: The Swan team has been hosting bitcoin rooms on Clubhouse, join our club Café Bitcoin to be notified of future events.
- Facebook: we run a Facebook group called Café Bitcoin to help educate people about Bitcoin. Join the group and invite your friends!
- Swan Force has grown to over 5,000 members! Join Swan Force to get paid to recruit Bitcoiners. When you recruit someone to Swan, you’ll earn 25% of all Swan fees for 3 years.
While central banks around the world are forced to debase their currencies, people are realizing that they need a new strategy to protect their wealth.
The smartest people on the planet are flocking to Bitcoin. And it’s not just individuals, we’re seeing institutional investors like Paul Tudor Jones, PayPal enabling people to spend Bitcoin at their 29m merchants, Fidelity applying for a Bitcoin ETF, and corporations like Tesla buying $1.5B Bitcoin and accepting Bitcoin as payment.
Bitcoin is up 800% in the last year alone with no signs of stopping. Of course there will be more volatility ahead, but the long term trend is clear. Bitcoin is here to stay.
As always, Swan is here to ensure investing in Bitcoin is easy, fast, and safe. Click here to get started today.
The Swan Team
P.S. As part of our commitment to education, we’re offering you and your friends a free copy of Inventing Bitcoin by Yan Pritzker. Share this link around!
This blog offers thoughts and opinions on Bitcoin from the Swan Bitcoin team and friends. Swan Bitcoin is the easiest way to buy Bitcoin using your bank account automatically every week or month, starting with as little as $10. Sign up or learn more here.