Crypto prices rebound as Musk mulls eco-friendly bitcoin mining

Tesla, MicroStrategy, Galaxy Digital and a number of other crypto-exposed businesses have joined forces to promote sustainable bitcoin mining, helping to shore up flailing cryptocurrency prices.

The Bitcoin Mining Council, as it will be known, has been formed of the leading mining groups in North America with a goal to “promote energy usage transparency and accelerate sustainability initiatives worldwide”, said Michael Saylor, the boss of software firm MicroStrategy, which has invested billions in bitcoin.

It also includes representatives from Argo Blockchain, Blockcap, Hut 8 and Riot Blockchain, among others.

Bitcoin’s price has risen more than 7% to top $39,000 in the last 24 hours following the Council’s formation, while ether is up 18% and XRP is up 21% as of 8:30am BST on 25 May.

It comes after Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, who was present at the Council’s first meeting, said earlier this month that his firm would no longer accept bitcoin for purchases because of its hefty carbon footprint. The move, in combination with backlash against cryptocurrencies from Chinese regulators, caused two major flash crashes in token prices.

READ Here’s why bitcoin dipped — and what crypto bulls think about it

Bitcoin’s environmental impact has been a sticking point for institutional and corporate investors, as its energy-intensive mining activities could clash with ESG targets.

“Spoke with North American bitcoin miners. They committed to publish current and planned renewable usage, and ask miners [worldwide] to do so. Potentially promising,” Musk said in a tweet following the summit.

In a survey by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance in September, 76% of crypto miners said they use renewable energy sources as part of their mix. However, only 39% of the total energy consumption by miners comes from renewable sources.

Musk added an open request to developers of meme token dogecoin to submit ideas for helping scale the coin, after he suggested earlier this month he was considering its suitability as a replacement for bitcoin.

His support for the cryptocurrency, which was created as a joke in 2015, has become a controversial issue within the crypto community, as it served to inflate the token’s price.

READ Bitcoin’s chances of topping $100k tumble as crypto bulls flee

When asked after the Bitcoin Mining Council meeting why he preferred dogecoin to other established tokens, Musk replied: “Doge has dogs and memes, whereas the others do not.”

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle

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