Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Prominent investor Kevin O’Leary says he will only buy Bitcoin that is mined sustainably in countries that consume clean energy – and not “blood coin” mined in China.
“I see two types of coins in the next year or two,” he told CNBC’s Capital Connection on Monday. “Blood coin from China, (and) clean coin that is sustainably mined in countries that use hydropower, not coal.”
Bitcoin mining is extremely energy-intensive and, according to Statista, around 65% of global Bitcoin was mined in China in April 2020.
“I’ll take the clean coin side,” said O’Leary.
The chairman of O’Shares ETFs once called Bitcoin “junk” but recently changed his mind and said he would allocate 3% of his personal portfolio to cryptocurrency according to a CoinDesk report.
O’Leary said he was “inundated” by institutions asking if he was buying “blood coins from China” after saying he wanted to invest in Bitcoin.
I don’t buy coins unless I know where they were mined, when they were mined, and where they came from. Not in China. No blood coin for me.
Chairman of the O’Shares ETFs
Increasingly, many large institutions are placing restrictions on the assets they will hold in order to comply with environmental and corporate governance rules. Concerns include human rights and carbon emissions. O’Leary said whether products are made in China is also a consideration.
“All of these issues … have now come to the fore with Bitcoin,” he said. “The institutions will not buy coins mined in China, no coins mined using coal to burn electricity, no coins mined in sanctioned countries.”
Institutions say they don’t want to support China because of human rights issues, he added.
O’Leary personally said he works very hard to make sure every coin he owns is complaint.
“I don’t buy coins unless I know where they were mined, when they were mined and where they came from,” he said. “Not in China. No blood coin for me.”