The energy used to mine cryptocurrencies is comparable to that of many developed countries and rivals emissions from major users and producers of fossil fuels such as airlines and oil service companies.
The Bitcoin Mining Council made its official debut on Thursday amid growing debate over the amount of energy used in cryptocurrencies.
“The Bitcoin Mining Council is a voluntary and open forum of Bitcoin miners engaged in the network and its fundamentals,” MicroStrategy Inc. CEO Michael Saylor, who helped form the association, wrote on Twitter. He added, “Join us,” next to a praying hands emoji.
Saylor, who made acquiring Bitcoin a business strategy for the enterprise software maker, sought to allay concerns about energy use after Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk quoted him as saying as a reason to stop accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for company cars. Musk then expressed his support for the group.
Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday slammed energy use while chairing a Senate Banking Subcommittee hearing that explored issues with existing cryptocurrencies as well as whether the Federal Reserve American should issue its own. Later in an interview with Bloomberg TV, she called cryptocurrencies an “environmental disaster”.
The council is a voluntary forum that is committed to the network and its fundamentals, we read on its website. Nine companies, including MicroStrategy, Galaxy Digital, and Darin Feinstein’s Blockcap, are listed as founding members.
The Bitcoin Mining Council is a voluntary and open forum of Bitcoin miners committed to the network and its fundamentals. We promote transparency, share best practices and raise awareness of the benefits of #Bitcoins and Bitcoin mining. Join us. https://t.co/vGPGD3TA5p
– Michael Saylor (@michael_saylor) June 10, 2021
Crypto miners use huge amounts of computing power and energy to verify transactions on the blockchain. Their energy use is comparable to that of many developed countries and rivals the emissions of major users and producers of fossil fuels such as airlines and oil service companies, according to an analysis by Bank of America Corp., although others dispute this, arguing that it is no worse than the carbon footprint of cars, power plants and factories.
Saylor had called the first informal meeting of some of the miners in May. Musk has no formal role in the group. The miners agreed to form the council “to standardize energy reporting,” Saylor said