Square, ran the digital payments company by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is teaming up with blockchain technology provider Blockstream Mining to build an open source bitcoin mining facility on one of Blockstream’s US sites.
Square will invest $ 5 million in the facility, which will be “proof of the concept of 100% renewable energy for bitcoin mine,” Blockstream announced in the company blog post Saturday. The partnership that Square confirmed via Twitter on Saturday is part of Bitcoin’s Clean Energy Investment Initiative in Square, which is an effort starts in December in support of companies working to reduce the bitcoin ecosystem massive carbon footprint.
Several bitcoin mining operations have already begun to shift from fossil fuels to more renewable energy sources such as solar and hydropower,, but Blockstream said it hoped the facility’s “open and transparent nature” would encourage others to follow suit. Its operating costs and return on investment will be available to the public, and Blockstream will maintain an online dashboard that displays real-time performance indicators for the facility, including its power and bitcoin returns, available 24/7 from any Internet browser.
“We hope to show that renewable real-world mining is not only possible, but also empirically proves that bitcoin is accelerating the world toward a sustainable future,” the company’s blog post said.
A ton of electricity is needed to power bitcoin mining operations, although scientists are struggling to determine its exact carbon footprint. Some researchers evaluation that the carbon footprint of bitcoin mining alone can push us above the critical two-degree Celsius threshold in a matter of decades. A study published in March in the scientific journal Joule estimates that by the end of 2021, bitcoin mining could consume almost as much energy as any data center in the world. combined.
More another study by Digiconomist, the researchers behind the widely cited Bitcoin energy consumption index, found that the average production of a bitcoin takes 1,553 kilowatt hours of electricity, roughly what your typical US household would burn in 53 days. Each year, bitcoin mining consumes approximately 125 terawatt hours, equal to the annual energy consumption across the country of Pakistan, and its annual carbon footprint is comparable to that in Morocco, according to Digiconomist.
As such, several businesses in the industry apply more sustainable extraction methods or, alternatively, refuse to participate in the ecosystem until environmental costs are mitigated. Earlier this yearTesla CEO Elon Musk said the carmaker would no longer accept bitcoins for car payments out of concern about “the rapidly growing use of fossil fuels to extract bitcoins.”
Dorsey, head of both Square and Twitter, is an outspoken fan of bitcoins, posing in 2018 that it will become the single currency in the world in 10 years. Square revealed in February that it bought $ 170 million worth of bitcoin as part of a larger investment in cryptocurrency. Friday, Dorsey tweet that Square is “considering making a hardware portfolio for bitcoin,” built entirely in collaboration with the community.