Despite Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s drubbing of bitcoin yesterday as a “terrible currency,” the resilient crypto was up more than 8% in Thursday trading.
In fact, bitcoin’s price rose to $37,333 per coin, while rival Ethereum traded around $2,523 and Dogecoin traded around 33 cents per coin, according to Robinhood.
Bitcoin’s price bounce comes despite an onslaught of attacks yesterday during a Senate Banking Committee hearing chaired by Warren. The committee discussed having the U.S. Federal Reserve issue its own digital currency.
“We’ve talked a lot today about the dangers that cryptocurrencies pose to our economy,” Warren said during the hearing. “We’ve talked about the rip-offs, the instability, the extent to which they’re used to help criminals with cyberattacks like the attack on Colonial Pipeline and [food processor] JBS. But there’s another piece too … the adverse environment impact of the computer activity used to mint many of the cryptocurrencies in the first place.”
“Bitcoin requires so much activity that it eats up more energy than entire countries. One of the easiest and least disruptive things we can do to fight the #ClimateCrisis is to crack down on environmentally wasteful cryptocurrencies,” Warren said yesterday in a follow-up tweet.
While Warren continued to hammer bitcoin on Twitter this morning, she was trolled by bitcoin investors. “Every time Elizabeth Warren flies on a private plane for three hours, it consumes the same amount of energy an average U.S. household needs for a month,” @stacey0000001 tweeted.
The former 2020 presidential candidate from Massachusetts has yet to suggest specific regulations, but that didn’t stop her from calling for the outright replacement of “wasteful” digital assets.
Neha Narula, director of MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative, said under questioning from Warren that the U.S. government could create its own digital asset that would not require the thousands of online data mining hours that bitcoin critics say transactions require.
In some respects, China has beaten Warren to the punch on digital currency regulation, although that country seems more motivated by crime and control than reversing climate change. Yesterday, police arrested more than 1,000 people suspected of using cryptocurrencies to launder illegal gains from telephone and internet scams, Reuters reported.
Last month, three of China’s regulatory bodies banned crypto-related financial and payment services, and China’s cabinet said it was cracking down on bitcoin mining and trading.