Australia’s financial giant, Macquarie Group Ltd and blockchain technology firm, Blockstream are partnering to develop Bitcoin mining facilities powered by renewable energy.
Maquire, a leading Australian investment bank is looking to use Blockstream’s crypto leading mining facilities and the mining-hardware hosting expertise.
Blockstream has already been providing Bitcoin mining facilities to various institutional and enterprise customers. It also provides mining machines hosting facilities where it helps deploy the mining software while the customer retains equipment control. It will use the expertise to seek carbon-neutral mining alternatives.
The pilot facility for the program will be based in the US. If successful, Blockstream would then expand to the other sites and facilities in various locations.
The deal with Blockstream is built on the back of the other previous partnership it has gotten to earlier. It had earlier in the year partnered with Norwegian holding company Aker ASA (AKER.OL) and Jack Dorsey’s payment platform Square Inc (SQ.N) geared to building renewable-power Bitcoin projects.
Bitcoin mining environmental concerns
Bitcoin has become a mainstream digital currency with both retail and institutional investors opting for it. However, the concerns about the environmental impacts of mining have been growing over the years.
Bitcoin mining relies on proof-of-work (PoW) protocol, involving multiple powerful machines in validating transactions. These machines use too much energy, with Bitcoin accounting for power more than the annual usage in some countries. Most of these energies come from coal which is not environmentally conducive.
The environmental concerns only grew when Tesla stopped accepting Bitcoin as a payment method citing the environmental concerns. Later, China crypto crackdown followed as the country also stated the Bitcoin impacts on the environment. The country is on a path to a green economy and the energy-intensive Bitcoin mining does not conform to these goals.
Making Bitcoin mining green
Given the importance of Bitcoin, stopping to mine altogether currently does not seem like a viable option. The best way out is to look for ways to make Bitcoin mining more environmentally friendly. Already, the Bitcoin mining community is taking various steps to ensure the process uses energy from renewable sources. For example, recent studies have established that more than 56% of the energy currently used in Bitcoin mining comes from renewable sources.
Several Bitcoin-related companies are actively looking for ways to make digital currencies operations more sustainable. For example, more than 25 Bitcoin mining companies have come together to make Bitcoin greener.
The large-scale adoption of Bitcoin should also not be an issue. After recognizing Bitcoin as one of the national currencies, energy concerns were rife for El Salvador. However, the country is also about green Bitcoin operations. It is looking to make Bitcoin mining 100% green by using energy from geothermal using the country’s 20 active volcanoes.
The partnership between Macquire investment bank and Blockstream is another show of how corporations are willing to make Bitcoin mining green. There is a need to ensure the industry goes green as Bitcoin keeps on growing in acceptance, use cases and value.