- Square is working with bitcoin technology company Blockstream on creating a sustainable bitcoin mine.
- Square will invest $5 million in the open-source project, while Blockstream will provide infrastructure.
- Jack Dorsey and Square have argued bitcoin could drive a positive impact on the environment.
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Jack Dorsey-led Square is investing $5 million into building a bitcoin mine that runs on solar power, teaming up with bitcoin technology company Blockstream on the project as debate over crypto’s environmental impact intensifies.
While digital payments company Square is backing the project financially, Blockstream is providing infrastructure and expertise for the renewable-energy bitcoin-mining facility. It will be developed at one of Blockstream’s existing crypto-mining sites in the US and be designed to function as a “proof-of concept” to demonstrate that bitcoin mining can be sustainable.
“We hope to show that a renewable mining facility in the real world is not only possible, but also prove empirically that Bitcoin accelerates the world toward a sustainable future,” Blockstream said in a joint statement on Sunday.
Twitter creator and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has argued that bitcoin encourages global moves toward sustainability and renewable energy, and the project is part of the digital payments company’s Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative.
“Together, we’ll be creating a public-facing dashboard to serve as a transparent case study for renewable energy and bitcoin mining. As we continue to explore the synergies between the two, we’re excited to share our ongoing learnings and real-world data points.” Square said on Twitter.
The project will be open-source, meaning that the code and process behind it will be publicly accessible. All associated economic data will also be shared. The partners said they hope the “open and transparent nature” of the effort will provide a model for other businesses.
The impact of bitcoin mining on the environment is a hotly debated topic in the cryptocurrency industry. Each bitcoin transaction, purchase or sale adds to the blockchain network which therefore requires a constantly increasing amount of energy.
While bitcoin fans share Dorsey’s view and argue that bitcoin mining mostly runs on renewable energy, critics say that the environmental impact is detrimental and contributes to climate change, among other issues.
In April, Square published a report with Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest saying that the bitcoin network could function as “unique buyer energy” that paves the way for renewable, sustainable-energy-based approaches to crypto mining.
Environmental concerns are said to be part of the reason for China’s recent crypto crackdown. The vast majority of crypto is mined in China, driving up energy demand in the country and therefore making it difficult for China to reach its net zero emissions by 2060 target.