Since the first week of February 2022, the world’s gaze has been largely focused on Russia, especially with regards to the country’s affectionate position on bitcoin. But now, nearly two months later, there are ripples that are percolating from the opposite corner of the world.
With poetic timing, the kind that only the strings of fate seem capable of sewing, Exxon announced via a Bloomberg article that the company had been mining bitcoin via natural gas flaring in North Dakota a mere 48 hours prior to my own article discussing how Great American Mining had quietly expanded their flare gas mining operations throughout the very same state.
You just can’t help but appreciate the beauty of how reality falls into place.
Now, for the real point I am writing. This news is bigger than Russia flirting with the possibility of accepting payment in bitcoin for oil. The reasoning is not a matter of opinion but a matter of fact. Russia’s nonchalant mentioning of willingness to take bitcoin for payment by Chair Paval Zavalny is indeed exciting, but at this time amounts to nothing more than marketing and hype. An announcement of hypothetical intent, announcements of announcements. A strategy that became popularized (and later rendered arguably infamous) by Justin Sun.
The spotlighting of Exxon’s bitcoin mining operations (and ConocoPhillips) being operational and successfully deployed gives us progress that is real. Developments that required capital deployment, job creation and has resulted in a functioning product. A product that not only strengthens our energy providers but also reduces their environmental footprint of bringing fossil fuels to market. Gracing society with the capability of producing heavily relied-upon plastic polymers and reliable energy, which alternative energies require as a backstop.
Both of which will be needed aggressively as the United States move to bring chip foundries to our shores, amid the likely future domestic operations that will aim to further expand as geopolitical goals shift away from globalization and just-in-time production to bolstering our economic resilience (such as shipping, agriculture and general technology manufacturing).
These moves by the oil and gas producers have the potential to strengthen the United States of America, as long as personalities in Washington, D.C., do not trip up the industry with overbearing red tape around a technology stack that is quite clearly misunderstood.
Today, there is an opportunity for America to change her destiny by being the empire that doesn’t fall like those of history, or she can shoot herself in the knee and assist in expediting the fall upon her own sword.
This is a guest post by Mike Hobart. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.