Jack Dorsey’s payments company, Square, has teamed up with Blockstream, the BTC technology firm behind the Liquid Network, to launch a renewable mining project.
Square is sponsoring a solar-powered mining project at a Blockstream mining farm site in the U.S. It announced the project at the BTC 2021 Conference in Miami on Saturday.
Square plans to create a public dashboard for the farm, which will serve as a “transparency case study” for BTC mining and renewable energy.
“As we continue to explore the synergies between the two, we’re excited to share our ongoing learnings and real world data points,” Square tweeted on June 5. The project will form part of the company’s wider BTC Clean Energy Initiative.
Together, we'll be creating a public-facing dashboard to serve as a transparent case study for renewable energy and BTC mining. As we continue to explore the synergies between the two, we're excited to share our ongoing learnings and real world data points. (2/2)
— Square (@Square) June 5, 2021
Square has bought over $200 million worth of BTC. The company told Decrypt in May that it is undeterred by the damage cryptocurrency exacts on the environment. Quite the opposite: Square argues that BTC paves the way to a green financial future.
Square’s BTC Clean Energy Initiative
On Earth Day (April 22), Square published a widely disputed whitepaper that claimed BTC mining and renewable energy is “well suited” to a green future due to the abundance of cheap and renewable energy.
Square claimed that BTC miners are “location agnostic”—they only need an internet connection to function. However, China has attracted almost two-thirds of BTC miners. For half of the year, Chinese miners feast on cheap fossil fuels.
“China’s current obsession with coal plants—despite greenhouse emission promises—means that certain miners can take advantage of “dirty” power in some regions,” Jason Deane, BTC analyst at Quantum Economics, previously told Decrypt.
Square also said that BTC mining could encourage investment in renewable energy sources on the assumption that renewable energy is cheaper, and thus will attract the majority of miners.
However, BTC miners are clearly open to using non-renewable energy. Today, 39% of the BTC mining industry is powered by renewable energy.
Geoff Morphy, president of North American BTC mining company Bitfarms, previously told Decrypt, “If we do switch to some type of carbon because the world has an opportunity where there’s surplus somewhere, and we can take advantage of that surplus, then we will.”
In the United States, a growing trend of previously retired power plants converting to BTC mining through fossil fuels has also raised environmental concerns.