The chairman of exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider O’Shares Investments and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary believes unsustainably mined cryptocurrencies pose a challenge to institutional investors.
In a new interview with Yahoo Finance, O’Leary says a number of institutional investors harbor concerns over owning cryptocurrencies produced using environmentally unfriendly power sources and in countries with a history of human rights abuses.
“Currently 60% of coins mined in Bitcoin come from China where they don’t care about sustainability and they certainly have issues around human rights. So there are many institutional clients that do not want to own so-called blood coins from China.”
With regards to his crypto-related holdings, O’Leary says he is not an investor in ETFs that hold “blood coins”.
“I have certainly shifted my holdings. I don’t own random ETFs with blood coin in them. I know the providence of where my wallet coins are mined now.”
To ensure that he only gets cryptocurrencies that are mined sustainably going forward, O’Leary adds that he has begun buying stakes in crypto mining firms.
“I have had to take equity positions in miners. I have had to start investing in them with the covenants in place that I would like to be paid back in the royalty of a clean coin.”
The Shark Tank veteran remarks that, in his view, the cryptocurrency industry has failed at ensuring sustainable mining processes are in place.
“The industry has done a poor job in lobbying its case around sustainability. I spend a lot of time talking to CEOs of miners and various entities that want me to invest in their mining operations. Collectively, they’ve done a horrible job.”
Consequently, O’Leary says he is “hoping to be part of the solution” in promoting sustainability in the industry.
“I’m trying to organize now a council of sustainability. Certainly, where I’ll be investing in the companies that do set sustainable mandates, they will be the ones I invest in and I would like to make them a showcase for the industry that we care about sustainability.”
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