Maximalists at the movies: Bitcoiners crowdfunding anti-FUD documentary film

A crowdfunded effort aims to set Elon Musk and the mainstream media straight.

As the headlines pile up about Bitcoin’s calamitous environmental impact, one group of investors and supporters have stepped up to the plate to defend the world’s largest digital asset with the help of a crowdfunded, FUD-fighting documentary film. 

First announced by investor, podcast host, and Bitcoin fanatic Brad Mills on Twitter, the goal of the film is to act as a “definitive” argument for “why Bitcoin will transition the world to renewable energy faster than governments.”

I found the filmmaker (@jamie_jk) to make the definitive short film on why Bitcoin will transition the world to renewable energy faster than governments.

It will only cost $20-30k for a professional mini-doc on BTC energy FUD.

I will put up $5k in, who’s with us?#GreenBitcoin

— Brad Mills ✍️ (@bradmillscan) May 14, 2021

Mills’ choice of director is Jamie King, best known for STEAL THIS FILM — a documentary series about BitTorrent and one of the earliest examples of a crowdfunded, free-to-share effort. In an interview with Cointelegraph, King said that the narrative about Bitcoin’s energy consumption pushed him into action. 

“The idea for this new project, which we’re raising funds for right now, came about as a result of the increasing amount of attention being paid to Bitcoin’s energy usage,” King said. “Obviously this came to a head with Elon’s announcement about not accepting BTC for his cars for the time being — but it’s also a piece of ‘FUD’ we’re seeing repeated with greater and greater intensity.”

Earlier in the week, billionaire Elon Musk Tweeted that his company Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin for payments — a comment that set off accusations of hypocrisy, but whose contents were echoed loudly in the mainstream media.

Despite Elon’s gripes, specifics about how much “dirty” energy Bitcoin consumes is difficult to calculate, however, and even estimates based off of Chinese consumption may only paint a rough picture.

Regardless, King and crew aren’t trying to argue that Bitcoin is clean, green tech.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge Bitcoin uses energy. A lot of it. That’s part of its design,” says King. “The question we need to ask is: is it worth it.

To be clear, I strongly believe in crypto, but it can’t drive a massive increase in fossil fuel use, especially coal

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021

King said that those who instinctively answer “no” to that question likely haven’t done their research, and that “in a broader social, political and economic context” the case for Bitcoin’s energy consumption is self-evident. 

So far the community has responded warmly, raising .5 BTC in just 48 hours. King also notes that while Bitcoin’s Lightning Network hasn’t seen the adoption some hoped for, after the project opened up to Lightning donations small backers began pouring in.

“I guess what we can see is that Lightning is very real for small Bitcoin donations, I’m glad to say,” he joked.

In the end, King’s goal isn’t to fling mud back at the FUD-sters, but instead to educate and elevate.

“I don’t just want to counter the idea that this is a ‘waste of energy’, but make something that inspires people about just what an amazing thing Bitcoin is. FUD-busting with a higher purpose!”

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