Cathie Wood doubles down on defense of bitcoin as environmentally conscious, and says there is ‘nothing better’ in terms of ESG

Cathie Wood

Cathie Wood doubled down on her defense of bitcoin as “environmentally conscious”, bucking criticism of major figures, including Elon Musk, on the asset’s harmful ecological impact.

“There could be nothing better than bitcoin in terms of ESG,” Wood told CNBC Wednesday, referring to environmental, social, and governance factors.

Wood said that the asset is transparent and enables economic empowerment throughout the world, and also reiterated her claim that bitcoin will be a net benefit for the planet and the climate as mining transitions to renewable energy.

Bitcoin has long been criticized for its environmental impact, and concerns around bitcoin mining’s energy consumption have hounded the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency.

Tesla’s reversal on accepting bitcoin as payment citing environmental concerns sent shockwaves across the digital asset ecosystem. Bitcoin immediately plunged nearly 15% following the news.

Not long after in June, China, the biggest cryptocurrency miner in the world, clamped down on bitcoin mining. Wood insisted that China’s move will benefit the bitcoin ecosystem in the long run.

“I actually think it’s a healthier phenomenon to disperse that mining,” she told CNBC. “And a lot of it is coming to the United States and moving towards renewables.”

The ARK Invest CEO compared what is happening today to a similar phenomenon in 2017 when China banned cryptocurrency trading on domestic exchanges.

“The market went through a big fallout because many people thought, ‘Oh my gosh, most of the trading is taking place in China. This is the end.’ Well, guess what, it migrated elsewhere in the world: Japan, Korea, and Thailand were the biggest beneficiaries back then,” she said.

The star stock picker insisted that environmental concerns surrounding bitcoin are temporary and revealed that she is currently working with Jack Dorsey’s payments firm Square to explain the digital asset’s positive contribution.

“Bitcoin mining will probably become part of utility ecosystems, and will proliferate renewables faster than would otherwise be the case,” she said. “We’re pretty excited by that and we think that Elon Musk and Tesla, generally, will become a part of that ecosystem.”