Bitcoin proponents have long pushed back against frequently resurfacing concerns surrounding Bitcoin's carbon footprint. Now, a new collaborative effort might just deliver an argument Bitcoin mining critics will find themselves struggling to refute.
Bitcoin infrastructure firm Blockstream has partnered with Jack Dorsey-led Square to build and open-source, solar-powered Bitcoin mining facility that will run 100% via renewable energy sources, as the companies announced on Saturday.
The facility is set to be established at one of Blockstream's mining sites in the U.S. In line with the project's open-source concept, Square and Blockstream plan to provide transparency throughout the facility's development by sharing details on its economics as well as insights gained throughout the process. Square intends to invest $5 million in the new mining facility, which the two firms hope will stand as a proof-of-concept for renewable Bitcoin mining at scale and and example for how Bitcoin mining can not only use renewable energy, but accelerate the overall transition to cleaner energy sources.
In fact, many Bitcoin mining operations already utilize renewable energy sources, hydropower being the leading one among them — for Bitcoin miners, the economic incentives often align with the environmental purpose. Blockstream, which also generates the energy for a sizeable portion of its mining operations from hydro energy, hopes that the latest project will help drive more awareness to the existing efforts made to promote "green" Bitcoin mining, as well as the current proportion of mining that runs on renewable energy.
"We’re thrilled to partner with Blockstream to provide an open-source working model for our combined thesis that Bitcoin can further accelerate the renewable energy transition,” Square's Global ESG Lead Neil Jorgensen commented on the collaboration.
To further the project's transparency efforts, Blockstream is working on a freely accessible dashboard that will provide real-time metrics of the mining facility's performance, including details on the power output and bitcoin mined.