? Does crypto belong in an ESG portfolio

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Doug Miller is a staunch believer in the power of technology to solve environmental problems.

As a masters student at London’s Imperial College, the American orchestrated a field study of office workers and energy consumption. He found that automating light switches was more effective and cheaper than relying on the last person leaving a room to turn off the lights.

In his current role at global non-profit organisation Energy Web, he has gone even more high-tech: engineering a certification system for digital assets that rely on clean energy. “I come at this purely from an environmental point of view,” he says. “Blockchain forms a key part of the clean energy transition.”

But asset managers with an environmental, social and governance brief may think differently. Blockchain is best known as the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin — assets whose carbon footprint and utility in illicit transactions put them beyond the ESG pale. That may change, however, as — thanks to the efforts of Miller and others — blockchain percolates into more areas of the  economy.

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