Kevin O’Leary speaks of “blood coin” in reference to China mined Bitcoin

So here is something different.

Canadian investor and Shark Tank co-host,  Kevin O’Leary yesterday brought something new up to stir the waters in Bitcoin and said that institutions do not want to hold Chinese Bitcoin or what is also called “blood coin”.

He made his remarks in a webcast hosted by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe).

O’Leary, who founded a software company in the late 1980s and earlier 1990s said that it is important to know where your Bitcoin “comes from”, or in other words has it been mined for example in countries with human rights issues.

“The real issue is around compliance and sustainability, and other issues such as, is this coin manufactured in countries that are abusing human rights, or have sanctions against them? And I’m really speaking about China,” O’Leary said. 

“I’ve had many institutions tell me that they don’t want to own ‘China coin’.” 

The Canadian investor then went on how he is looking for the cryptocurrency that is mined outside of China, an ethically mined Bitcoin he refers to as “virgin coin”. Not an easy thing to do with 65% of all Bitcoin mining taking place in China right now. He said:

“If you don’t want to own China coin, also being called ‘blood coin’, which sounds like blood diamonds, you’re going to prove where your coin is born…

My strategy is simple. I’m going to partner with institutions—the ones that come to me—I’m going to buy positions in mines, I’m going to take a royalty off their production and know with certainty that my partners’ coins are virgin and compliant.”

O’Leary, who until recently was averse to Bitcoin, also said that he is willing to “pay a premium” for the “virgin coin” and added that Bitcoin’s further growth and mainstream adaption would be “compliant to ethics and sustainability committees.” 

While O’Leary might have a point about the current human rights issues in China, the question is whether using Bitcoin to apply pressure and stir the discussion, is effective and the right thing to do. Perhaps Bitcoin should stay away from politics?

Bitcoin has already shown to have lasting impact and an empowering effect on large populations in “developing” countries around the world, with people considering and using the cryptocurrency as “freedom money”.

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