While the Bitcoin miners in China reel from the after-effects of the country’s latest crypto attack, miners on the other side of the planet are reportedly forming a new council to promote sustainable mining.
Involved in the cause are North American mining companies, Bitcoin firms, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself.
“Spoke with North American Bitcoin miners. They committed to publish current & planned renewable usage & to ask miners WW to do so,” said Musk in a tweet this morning. “Potentially promising,” he added.
Spoke with North American Bitcoin miners. They committed to publish current & planned renewable usage & to ask miners WW to do so. Potentially promising.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2021
Bitcoin’s energy problem
Mining, for the uninitiated, uses up a massive computing system that solves millions of complex calculations each second to validate transactions on the Bitcoin network (a process known as ‘proof of work’).
This, however, requires massive amounts of energy for the maintenance, cooling, running of the machines. But some say as the source of this is via coal and fossil fuel-powered energy producers, it leaves behind a big carbon footprint for seemingly little benefit to the world.
The above has become somewhat of a PR issue for companies. Most institutional investors seem to know the benefits of holding Bitcoin (or other large-cap cryptocurrencies), but the ensuing climate damage poses a problem.
Tesla, the electric carmaker helmed by Musk, is a prime example of the above. The firm started accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for its vehicles earlier this year, but just weeks later, said it would cease the service due to the ‘ecological impact’ of using Bitcoin.
The solution is green
A proposed solution offers a simple way out: Use renewable, or waste energy, sources to mine Bitcoin and theoretically cut down on the supposed climate problem.
And some leading North American miners are already on board with that: “Sustainability has always been at the heart of Argo’s mining operations and the newly-formed Bitcoin Mining Council is the next logical step in fostering a sectoral shift towards renewable energy,” said Peter Wall, CEO of Argo Blockchain, in a statement to CryptoSlate.
Wall added, “I enjoyed speaking with Elon Musk about these issues this weekend, and look forward to joining Michael Saylor and other leading North American miners in working to future-proof an industry that must collectively improve sustainable mining practices and take ESG concerns seriously.”
Bitcoin mining is said to consume more electricity than the entirety of Argentina. But that could soon change.
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