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Twitter owner Jack Dorsey’s payments venture Square announced on Saturday it will partner with blockchain technology firm Blockstream Mining to build an open-source, solar-powered bitcoin mining facility in the U.S., aiming to drive adoption and efficiency of renewables within the bitcoin ecosystem.
The initiative comes weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s move to establish a council along with American crypto miners to promote sustainable bitcoin mining . Dorsey, much like Musk, has shown great interest in the development of cryptocurrency, and believes bitcoin will become the world’s largest single currency of the internet within a decade, according to a 2018 interview with The Times.
Square will invest $5 million in the facility that will “demonstrate how bitcoin mining in conjunction with renewable energy can help drive clean energy transition,” a company statement said.
Bitcoin mining has been criticised by several experts worldwide for its high energy-consumption property . It is estimated to generate up to 22.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year, as much as the levels produced by Sri Lanka and Jordan, Reuters had reported in February.
Musk has also decried bitcoin’s “insane” energy usage , especially the use of coal which has the worst emissions among fossil fuels.
Dorsey said on Friday that Square is considering making a hardware wallet for bitcoin, that will be built in the open and in collaboration with the community. The company bought $50 million in bitcoin in October last year , and tripled its investment in cryptocurrency with a purchase of bitcoin worth $170 million in February this year.