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The Bitcoin mining sector is undergoing a transformation as miners shift their attention to ESG, or environmental, social, and governance, activities.
Blockstream, a blockchain infrastructure provider, has teamed up with Macquarie Group, an Australian international investment bank, to create a new pilot for a Bitcoin (BTC) mining facility with a mandate to investigate carbon-neutral options.
Macquarie Group will invest in one of Blockstream’s enterprise-grade mining operations as part of the pilot project, the firms announced on Wednesday. This will allow Macquarie Group to uncover new opportunities in renewable energy that can be bootstrapped for more sustainable Bitcoin mining initiatives.
Macquarie Group is one of the largest institutional investors in the renewable energy infrastructure, with 44 gigawatts of generation under development or construction as of March 31, 2021.
After successfully receiving $210 million in Series B financing, Blockstream has expanded its aspirations in the Bitcoin mining business. In addition to the successful campaign, the firm announced the acquisition of the intellectual property of Spondoolies, a Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer. As a result, the Spondoolies core team joined Blockstream’s newly established ASIC unit.
As Cointelegraph reported in June, Blockstream’s growing emphasis on Bitcoin mining drew a substantial investment from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who pledged $5 million towards a solar-powered mining facility.
Bitcoin mining got significant popular attention this year after Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared to condemn the cryptocurrency amid fears that its network was unsustainable from an environmental standpoint. Soon after, a public debate regarding sustainably generated Bitcoin erupted, with industry proponent Michael Saylor convening an industry organisation made up of BTC miners. Musk appears to have softened his views on the detrimental environmental impact of miners, even going so far as to disclose that SpaceX, another company he owns, has Bitcoin on its books.
The hashrate on the Bitcoin network appears to be growing again after the industry suffered a major disruption at the hands of China, which effectively banned BTC miners earlier this year.