When Bill Maher’s right, he’s right. The HBO host has a lot of dicey opinions, but one subject where he’s right on the money is cryptocurrency. He devoted a chunk of Friday night’s Real Time to the financial fad that’s getting bigger and bigger, with virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and more taking off. Some are even accepted by places like Whole Foods, Etsy, and Home Depot. But Maher’s not having it.
Maher singled out Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency that began as a laugh only to become “real,” as emblematic of the whole fad’s problem. “Far as I can tell it’s exactly the same as the other cryptocurrencies because the whole thing is a joke,” Maher cracked. He referred to all of it as “Easter bunny cartoon cash” and compared it to Tinkerbell from Peter Pan: “Its power is based solely on enough children believing in it.”
But his biggest beef was how bad cryptocurrency is for the environment. He pointed out that every transaction sucks up tons of power, using “more energy than Netflix, Apple, Facebook, and Google combined.” Each exchange, he says, “uses more electricity than a million Visa transactions and has the same carbon footprint as watching 85,000 hours of YouTube.”
He also drew a compare-and-contrast with another major energy suck: “Cars are bad for the environment, but at least they take you somewhere.”
Maher also called out the big tech bros, like future SNL host Elon Musk, who talk about the environment while taking part in energy-sucking cryptocurrency. “How can Tesla be all-in on saving the planet with electric cars and then participate in destroying it with this completely unnecessary online play-money?”
Maher’s words did not sit well with some pro-cryptocurrency types.
— Mandrik (@Mandrik) May 1, 2021
Wrong. Most Bitcoin miners locate where the energy is cheap, renewable and even where it would otherwise go unused. This idea is so old and tired. You would think Maher's staff would do more research before spouting this old myth.
— TomTahoma (@TomTahoma) May 1, 2021
But others argued that you can hate cryptocurrency and Bill Maher at the same time.
Bitcoin and Bill Maher's career have a lot in common
Neither one of them have any intrinsic value
— George Carlin's Ghost (@AlbyWeiser) May 1, 2021