Bitcoin Mining Council to Be Formed to Promote Energy Usage Transparency

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In Brief
  • The leading bitcoin miners in North America have decided to form the Bitcoin Mining Council.

  • With Elon Musk among their ranks, the organization has decided to standardize aspects of cryptocurrency mining.

  • This could contribute to Musk’s prior suggestion of energy audits for large crypto miners.

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At a meeting hosted by MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, the leading bitcoin (BTC) miners in North America decided to form the Bitcoin Mining Council.

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Saylor tweeted that the meeting attendees “have agreed to promote energy usage transparency and accelerate sustainability initiatives worldwide.” Those present included executives from Argo Blockchain, Blockcap, Core Scientific, Galaxy Digital, Hive Blockchain, Hut 8 Mining, Marathon Digital Holdings, and Riot Blockchain.

The group’s other goals include standardizing energy reporting, pursuing industry ESG goals, as well as educating and developing the marketplace.

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Saylor’s tweeted in reply to a similar one from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was also present at the meeting. Musk called the meeting “potentially promising.” He also noted that the group “committed to publish current and planned renewable usage and to ask miners WW to do so.”

Clarifying crypto’s impact

Although responses on Twitter decried the centralized nature of the group’s intentions, it could facilitate mining becoming more sustainable. Musk and others have made similar suggestions earlier.

Last week, Musk said energy audits of large bitcoin miners could help solve the debate around cryptocurrency’s environmental impact. The comment came as a passing remark in Musk’s reply to a post by ARK Invest analysts. 

In his tweet, Musk largely agreed with an argument the analysts made, saying bitcoin could be powered by renewables over time. However, he added that bitcoin’s recent growth in energy usage could not have been done as fast with renewable energy. Ultimately, he concluded, the question could be resolved “if the top ten hashing orgs just post audited numbers of renewable energy.” The newly established council could help substantiate this idea.

Meanwhile, Blockchain for Climate Foundation founder Joseph Pallant held a similar notion about demystifying energy used by Bitcoin miners. Pallant had said that potential investors understanding the environmental impact of their individual choices would be key for facilitating a “cleaner bitcoin.”

He emphasized that incentivizing miners to share data about their carbon footprint could go a long way in this regard. Although, “they’re notoriously hard to get to share data because they really need their privacy,” Pallant admitted.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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