Bitcoin is a new monetary paradigm with its own logic. Contrary to trust in banks and governments, Satoshi Nakamoto created a system in which code is law and its language is mathematics. However, for this system to work properly, it uses a significant amount of energy.
One of the most popular arguments against Bitcoin is exactly that This electricity consumption is higher than what countries like Austria or Switzerland spend. However, the reality is that miners pay for the service, just like any other private institution that decides to start a high-energy company.
To pay more attention to this “problem”, some companies have taken interesting initiatives. We are talking about Buda.com, Chilean company that is trying to reduce the carbon footprint of transactions carried out on its platform by an operational commissionwhich is intended for an environmental foundation. The customer decides whether to accept the amount or not.
We spoke to the company’s CEO, Guillermo Torrealbato learn more about this interesting initiative, its own beginnings in Bitcoin and much more.
-Javier Bastardo (JB): Welcome, Guillermo, and thank you for your time. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us when you discovered Bitcoin.
-Guillermo Torrealba (GT): I discovered Bitcoin the same day I decided to close my previous company, a company that was developing seawater desalination technologies. That day, I met a friend who told me he was going to mine feather coins, and when I asked him what the high point was, he invited me home and we had a 10-hour intensive Bitcoin session. My head exploded. I couldn’t believe what I heard. I couldn’t understand that a form of scarce digital goods was finally being created that didn’t depend on a magic key controller, and I couldn’t accept the idea of not being part of this revolution since it was born. I couldn’t have forgiven myself. The same day I went bankrupt, I decided to start a business with Buda.com
-JB: Tell us the story of the Buddha’s launch and what it was like to survive the banks.
-GT: When I decided to do something related to Bitcoin, I didn’t know what it was going to be. I had already decided that it was the future, but I didn’t know what role I would play in it I thought about wire transfer companies, ATMs, and other ideas that came up because there wasn’t a good exchange with an open API to connect toSo the decision to exchange was half forced, half voluntary, and that’s how “Patabit” was born: the first name that Buda.com had. At the time, it was just a blog that I maintained and through which I translated messages to learn them. I accomplished the goal of developing SEO for something that would be born a long time later and forced myself to catch up: patabit.wordpress.com
There I met my partners and we started the development, which lasted until April 2015, when we were finally able to start what was already called surbtc.com: https://web.archive.org/web/20160304055559/https:// www .surbtc.com /
We always knew about the struggle with the banks that it would exist, and we always mentioned it to our investors when we presented the idea and the business opportunity. So it was no surprise when the problems with the bank accounts started without. The exact moment it happened hit us very hard because It was just when the bubble burst in 2017 and the volume had dropped to 1/3 of 3 months earlier. In other words, they hit us when we were on our knees.
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But what they did was so stupid and crude that the Court of Open Competition promptly asked us to reopen them, so we went back in operation, albeit with 50% fewer customers than before the deal. Many did not return to operate with us, either for fear or because they had lost a lot of money or because they never found out that we had returned due to the mail we sent and the average appearance we achieved.
-JB: Now let’s talk about Bitcoin’s “spending” and carbon footprint. Do you think Bitcoin will waste electricity and dry up the seas? Why?
-GT: Drying the oceans, impossible, in the worst case we are drying the continents and the oceans will have even more water, but that is not the point. Bitcoin does not “waste” electricity in the sense that 100% of the electricity consumed by the mining network is converted into more powerful encryption and is therefore reflected in security. However, you may cut down trees to build a home for homeless families, accidentally destroying natural ecosystems that depend on that space. This is the problem of the Bitcoin community and not of Bitcoin as a technology.
It is a fact that we do not believe that Bitcoin’s process of converting economic incentives (mined Bitcoins) will be safe for all users who use the technology, Mining consumes more electricity than countries with a population of 70 million, and that has ramifications that we should not only accept because it is a fact and there is not even an atomic space to discuss it, we should be happy to take care of it .
Bitcoin not only has the ability to replace a financial industry full of vice and blood on your hands, but can also replace it with something that is capable of measuring the millionth level of damage it can do to other natural ecosystems and mitigate. Because I can argue that Bitcoin consumes “a lot or a little” and this discussion is absurd because it doesn’t work. However, the discussion leading to the port takes responsibility or not because it contaminates X. In other words, being for or against Buda.com’s climate neutral initiative does not mean to believe or not that the Proof of Work (PoW) is the best consensus mechanism, but the fact that we are destroying the planet. And there are idiots who don’t think.
-JB: Ok, so it is clear that it is not about “waste”, but about mitigating the impact of the energy investments that are made to give the network security. But why do you decide to take care of it? Why is it important? Do you think this could become an industry practice? Why?
-GT: I know it will be a practice of this industry and any industry, because like today, nobody would think of throwing garbage on the street and hope that nobody would bother him, but there was a time when nothing was wrong. The same applies to CO2 emissions.
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Today we only recognize the problem and We are more and more people who do not consider it irrelevant to collect our own waste, plastic or CO2 until it is finally unthinkable to offer a product or service whose price does not cost the cost of offsetting the CO2 associated with its production Footprint contains.. And it will be like VAT, where all you have to do is balance the footprint of the “productive value” you add, so each stage of the productive chain pays its delta until the customer finally pays for everything.
This is not just from Buda.com. Microsoft has previously announced that by 2030 the entire carbon footprint will have been balanced since the company was founded in 1976. Both AWS and Google Cloud are climate neutral. So if you use their services, you know that overall you are not causing pollution. This is not the future, it is happening and the topic is as mature as Bitcoin, which doesn’t mean much.