The Bitcoin Mining Council made a formal debut on Thursday as the debate regarding the environmental impact of the digital asset intensifies.
The Bitcoin Mining Council describes itself as a “voluntary and open forum of Bitcoin miners committed to the network and its core principles”. Its mandate is to promote transparency, endorse good practices, and foster Bitcoin education according to the official website.
MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor is one of the founding members who posted a call to arms on his Twitter feed on June 10.
The organization consists of a group of energy-conscious North American Bitcoin mining companies. It was first suggested by Elon Musk in a Tweet in late May, but he has since clarified that he will have no role at the Council. The site goes out of its way to underline this point:
“Elon Musk has no role at the BMC. The extent of his involvement was joining an educational call with a group of North American companies to discuss Bitcoin mining.”
In addition to MicroStrategy, founding members include investment management firm Galaxy Digital, blockchain mining company Argo, blockchain technology firm Hive, and Bitcoin mining company Riot. The founding members will cover any running costs and have invited any Bitcoin miner from anywhere around the world to join. It stated that any miner joining should:
“Believe that transparency around energy usage for mining is important and agree to voluntarily share their energy mix and hashrate size for research and educational purposes.”
The BMC will hold quarterly meetings in order to analyze mining trends, partner with industry researchers, gather data for educational purposes, and foster growth in the North American BTC mining industry.
The group confirmed that it is completely independent of the Bitcoin network itself and has no intentions to disrupt its decentralization.
“We don’t seek to change the decentralized nature of Bitcoin or its core principles, but rather are working to raise awareness about Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining.”
It added that the Council believes that Bitcoin’s energy usage is a feature, not a bug, providing tremendous network security. The energy consumption of global mining operations has come under the spotlight recently in the wake of Elon Musk’s comments regarding its environmental impact.
The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) estimates Bitcoin’s annual electricity consumption is currently somewhere between that of Holland and the UAE.
Following recent state clampdowns, China’s hashrate dominance is dwindling while America's is increasing as mining operations can tap into cheap renewable energy in states such as Texas.
More firms are setting up operations in the U.S., attracted by this abundance of renewable energy. The latest collaboration between mining software company Luxor and institutional Bitcoin technology and financial services firm NYDIG aims to foster growth in the rapidly expanding industry.
However, one of the biggest winners for geographical reasons is neighboring Kazakhstan.