Adrien Grenier on bitcoin, mining and its environmental impact


Entourage actor Adrian Grenier believes fiat currencies like the US dollar are on the verge of disappearing and bitcoin is about to take their place.

While Grenier is the first to admit he’s no crypto expert, the actor has a pretty big megaphone, and lately he’s been using it to tout the virtues of digital coins like bitcoin.

“You’re going to see the adoption rate increase exponentially over time, but you also see bitcoin as a future dollar as opposed to bitcoin,” he told CNBC in an interview. “Where we have to come philosophically is that it’s not going to end up turning into dollars, it’s just going to be bitcoin.”

Abandon Hollywood

CNBC met Grenier in Miami last month at what was billed as the biggest bitcoin event in history. Many people affectionately shouted “Vince! as they passed Grenier – an HBO benchmark, for the uninitiated – but many had no idea he cared about bitcoin.

But Grenier really ties in with the philosophical priorities of many in the bitcoin network.

“The prevailing sentiment is that bitcoin is all about making money … and of course it does, but in reality what is at the heart of bitcoin, and all decentralized currencies, is a philosophy and a philosophy around it. of the decentralization of our ability to connect with each other in various ways, exchange value, own and have more sovereignty over the world’s wealth, removing it from the hands of custodians and centralized banks, ”he said. he declared

It’s this kind of thinking that makes the community particularly robust, according to Grenier. “It cannot be taken into account,” he said.

It’s no surprise that Grenier has joined a group of people who value rebellion, as Grenier himself has been going against the grain of Hollywood for years. In 2020, the actor ditched the scene altogether, swapping his prominent city life for a farm in Bastrop, Texas – a population of around 8,776. He is now certified in permaculture and is learning to care for the soil on his own.

The 45-year-old says he’s stopped acting like his day job – although a trailer for his latest film dropped this week – so he can focus on returning to the essential and on the appreciation of nature. But in the process of disconnecting, Grenier connected with a group of the most tech savvy people on the planet. You can’t help but notice the irony.

When Grenier moved, he also decided to start his own mini-community. The actor bought a piece of land with the intention of inviting people to come and build and live there. As Grenier describes it, he and those who join him would work together to be more sovereign. They grew food and shared it.

Adrian Grenier speaks to CNBC at the Bitcoin2021 conference in Miami.

They would also use their own decentralized currencies, in order to “trade with each other in a very, very hyper-local way.”

“And that’s what bitcoin does – it gives that level of transparency, hyper location, and access to everyone in the community,” he said.

Grenier says he has seriously invested in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies this year. Although the price of bitcoin is trading at around half of its all-time high, virtual currency is still up over 230% from a year ago. But the price doesn’t really matter to the actor.

“I like the technology – the decentralization of bitcoin, which gives more access to more people,” he said.

“I spend it too and try to use it in the real world,” he said. “Right now, bitcoin is so volatile because it’s new, and people see it as a business … Eventually, it’s going to stabilize and that will be the currency we use.”

Grenier may be bullish on bitcoin, but for him, it’s not bitcoin or bust.

“I believe in innovation. So if there are technologies that come to disrupt or challenge bitcoin, I say, ‘So be it. “It’s good for everyone. There will be winners and losers, but we will all win when we are democratized and when everyone has access,” he said.

The enigma of the environment

Grenier has spent twenty years championing environmental causes of all kinds, from the United Nations’ Clean Seas campaign to the plastic-free laundry pods of Blueland, a company he also supports through his investment fund at DuContra Ventures impact.

But for some critics, supporting bitcoin negates all that is good.

The creation of new bitcoin, a process called “mining,” involves a global network of computers working together to produce new coins. It requires a lot of power, and there is currently a heated debate about how this collective energy consumption affects the environment.

One of the main sticking points is that energy consumption is not equivalent to carbon emissions. While it is relatively easy to determine the amount of energy consumed by the bitcoin network, it is much more difficult to determine its carbon footprint.

An accurate reading of bitcoin’s carbon emissions would require an exact knowledge of the energy mix used to generate the electricity used by each bitcoin mining operation. A unit of hydroelectricity, for example, does not have the same environmental impact as an equivalent amount of electricity from coal.

Another big part of the debate revolves around utility. Many people think that keeping bitcoin decentralized and fair as it continues to become mainstream is well worth the expense of electricity.

“Everything we do has an environmental cost. There are externalities to absolutely everything. And just because something has an externality doesn’t mean it’s a net harm. I think bitcoin has a net benefit. “Grenier said.

“Bitcoin certainly has an environmental footprint,” he says. “But let’s not bother trying to create technology that is really going to empower people all over the world.”

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