For the past few weeks crypto markets have experienced a turbulent ride. While the reasons for this are varied, a major factor is no doubt fears re-ignited by Elon Musk surrounding the environmental impact of Bitcoin. While at first it appeared as though Elon Musk would abandon his self-professed attraction towards Bitcoin in favour of other less energy-intensive projects, this is not the case. Rather, in a series of recent tweets, Musk has announced that along with various high-profile CEOs a new endeavour known as ‘The Bitcoin Mining Council’ is being launched.
The Bitcoin Mining Council
As implied, The Bitcoin Mining Council was formed as a means to address issues surrounding energy usage of the network. Its focus is specifically on the practice of mining, as the energy used to complete an actual transaction on the network is already negligible.
Important to note is that the council made it clear from the get-go that it would not be tasking itself with trying to change Bitcoin itself. Peter Wall, CEO of Argo Blockchain, elaborated on this stating, “We’re not talking about Bitcoin code or block size or anything related to changing the nature of Bitcoin…We all love Bitcoin the way it is, as a decentralized, permissionless system.”
What the Bitcoin Mining Council does intend to do are the following,
- Standardize Energy Reporting
- Pursue Industry ESG Goals
- Educate Crypto Markets
- Foster Growth
Dirty vs. Clean
Since the topic of Bitcoin energy usage became popular, there have been various opinions shared for how to best tackle the issue. One opinion recently shared by Kevin O’Leary was to devise a means of tracking BTC to its source, and marking it as being mined through either a ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ operation – essentially whether or not renewable energy was used in the mining process. While it is unclear how this would be achieved, with the advent of decentralized exchanges, tumbling services, etc., The Bitcoin Mining Council has made it clear that this is not its mandate.
While those playing a role in this newly formed council will surely expand over time, it appears to have gotten off to a running start, with representatives from various high-profile companies. These include, but are not limited to the following.
- Elon Musk
- Michael Saylor
- Argo Blockchain
- Core Scientific
- Galaxy Digital
- Hive Blockchain
- Hut 8 Mining
- Marathon DH
- Riot Blockchain
While the idea of reducing the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining is a commendable one, not everyone is convinced that The Bitcoin Mining Council is the best way to go about tackling the issue.
Opinions being voiced by critics range from condemning the involvement of Musk at all – believing that Bitcoin is fine the way it is – to writing off the endeavour, as a small and centralized group will not be able to change a decentralized global network.
Regardless of perspective, it is clear that going ‘green’ is nothing but a good thing. Whether the Bitcoin Mining Council will play a role in achieving this is a bit murkier. Bitcoin detractor and gold enthusiast, Peter Schiff, shared his skepticism, stating, “In other words you hosted an ass-kissing. Let’s see if it buys you more than a one-day rally.”