By Landon Manning
Attempting to address some of the common criticisms of the Bitcoin network, CEOs Michael Saylor and Elon Musk recently organized a meeting of North American Bitcoin mining firms to coordinate use of renewable energy and transparency in the business worldwide.
Saylor, the CEO of software intelligence firm MicroStrategy and public advocate for bitcoin, tweeted the news of this first meeting between himself, Musk and executives from the top mining companies in the United States. Representatives from this diverse range of companies, such as Argo Blockchain, Blockcap, Riot Blockchain, Galaxy Digital and many others, evidently had a productive conversation and have agreed to form a new organization. This Bitcoin Mining Council is tasked with promoting green energy usage and greater transparency about mining electricity consumption, and is set to ask other international mining firms to join the initiative.
Although Saylor has clearly had a significant role in organizing this group, claiming in his announcement tweet that he hosted the initial meeting, the significant clout of Elon Musk’s presence in this operation will likely play an important role moving forward as well. Musk, considered by several current metrics to be the world’s richest man, has had a tumultuous and notable history with Bitcoin. Although he has been a casual supporter of the digital currency for years now, it was only this year that he jumped to the forefront of the entire conversation on bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.
As the bitcoin price continued an impressive bull run in 2021, Musk became more public in his support of the asset, making public statements seemingly endorsing it in late January. In early February, Musk’s company, Tesla, disclosed that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, and that it would begin officially conducting transactions with the cryptocurrency in the near future.
This honeymoon period was not to last forever, however, as Musk spoke again on the subject in May, claiming that he had significant concerns about the environmental impact of irresponsible mining, and that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin payments. However, he also claimed that these could be revived in the future and that Tesla would continue to hold its vast sum of bitcoin, at least until some of these environmental concerns could be addressed to his satisfaction. Members of the Bitcoin community were quick to refute some of his claims.
Musk’s prominent position in this new mining council is a show of good faith in the possibilities of bitcoin, and that no matter what his opinion is on the state of energy consumption in mining today, it is possible to find a solution that meets with his views on environmental goals.
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