Square to invest $5 million to build a renewable Bitcoin mining facility

Blockstream solar-powered bitcoin mining

In a press release on June 5th, 2021, Bitcoin infrastructure startup Blockstream has made an announcement that it is partnering with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey led digital payments company Square to build an open-source, solar-powered bitcoin mining facility in the US. The announcement was made during the Bitcoin 2021 conference currently happening in Miami, Florida.

Square will invest $5 million in the facility and Blockstream will provide infrastructure for the project that is designed to be scalable so that Blockstream can add additional capacity and support more participants in order to expand renewable mining operations in the future.

The project aims to demonstrate the bitcoin mining transition to 100% clean energy and will provide complete public transparency by sharing the project economics and knowledge that they have gained from building a Bitcoin mine powered by renewable energy.

Together with Square, we hope that the open and transparent nature of the project will become a model that other businesses can learn from. We’re hoping to demonstrate that a renewable mining facility in the real world is not only possible but also empirically prove that Bitcoin accelerates the world toward a sustainable future. 

Blockstream CIO Chris Cook

In addition to providing the report for the economics of the project, Blockstream will also provide a freely accessible 24/7dashboard showing real-time metrics of the project’s performance, including power output and bitcoin mined.

The project will serve as an ongoing, transparent case study that will allow us to all learn together the specific unit economics of clean energy bitcoin mining and we can’t wait to start sharing our results with the community.

Neil Jorgensen, global ESG lead at Square, Inc.

In March 2021, Blockstream partnered with Seetee, a subsidiary of Aker, a major player in energy infrastructure based in Norway, dedicated to investing in projects and companies throughout the Bitcoin ecosystem.

There is a lot of discussion and debate going on in the entire world regarding bitcoin mining energy consumption and CO2 emission which was fuelled by Elon Musk’s environmental concerns over bitcoin mining. Elon Musk’s announcement earlier this year that Tesla will accept bitcoin payments for its electric cars led the bitcoin price skyrocketing to nearly traded at the $65,000 mark.

However, Musk took a u-turn in May 2021, suspending bitcoin payment over energy concerns led to FUD in the crypto market crashing it down to an all-time low and wiping off nearly a trillion-dollar from the market in a matter of a week. The entire crypto industry is pissed at Elon Musk over his shallow actions on social media that are manipulating the crypto market.

Also see - Anonymous warns Elon Musk for Bitcoin market manipulation

Other well-known industry advocates point to the amount of renewable energy already used for mining. MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, a very vocal supporter of cryptocurrency, references the figure that bitcoin recycles 0.25% of the world’s wasted energy for mining. 

“I think Bitcoin is the most efficient use of energy the human race has come up with. It takes wasted energy and creates prosperity and freedom.” 

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami

Jack Dorsey is also a big supporter of cryptocurrencies. He mentioned at one point that he would be willing to leave Square and Twitter to work on Bitcoin during the Bitcoin 2021 Conference.

If I were not at Square or Twitter, I would be working on bitcoin. If [Bitcoin] needed more help than Square or Twitter, I would leave them for Bitcoin.

Jack Dorsey, CEO Twitter and Square
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