Financial services firm Square Inc. to partner with blockchain technology provider Blockstream Mining to build an open-source solar-powered bitcoin mining facility, Blockstream announced in a press release Saturday. Square confirmed the news in a tweet, saying it was “committed to driving further adoption and efficiency of renewables within the bitcoin ecosystem.”
According to the release, Square will invest $5 million in the facility, which will be a “proof-of-concept for a large-scale 100% renewable energy Bitcoin mine,” and will be built at one of Blockstream’s locations in the US. . “We hope to show that a renewable mining facility in the real world is not only possible, but also prove empirically that Bitcoin is accelerating the world towards a sustainable future,” the release states.
Together, we will create a public-facing dashboard that serves as a transparent case study for renewable energy and bitcoin mining. As we continue to explore the synergies between the two, we’re excited to share our ongoing lessons and real-world data. (2/2)
— Square (@Square) June 5, 2021
Bitcoin mining uses a lot of electricity and the pursuit of sustainable mining methods is a high priority for many in the industry. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in April that the automaker would stop accepting bitcoin as payment for vehicles (after the policy went into effect for about a month), noting that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin “incur a high cost for the environment”. He met bitcoin miners in May and the group agreed to form a Bitcoin Mining Council, “to promote transparency of energy consumption”. [and] accelerate sustainability initiatives worldwide.”
Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who is also CEO of Twitter, is another big supporter of bitcoin (it’s the only word in his Twitter bio currently), said in 2018 that he thinks bitcoin will become the world’s sole currency within 10 years. Square invested $50 million in bitcoin in October and added another $170 million in February. Users of Square’s Cash app can use it to buy bitcoin. And during a remote testimony before Congress in March, a bitcoin clock was seen in the background of Dorsey’s video stream.
On Friday, Dorsey tweeted that Square was “considering creating a hardware wallet for bitcoin” to build it completely out in the open and in collaboration with the community.