MicroStrategy CEO, Michael Saylor has explained the details and thinking behind the formation of the Bitcoin Mining Council.
The council was formed on May 25 after Saylor brokered a successful meeting between Elon Musk and several top North American Bitcoin mining firms. The miners involved will provide current and planned renewable usage transparency, and will lobby other mining operations across the globe to do so as well
— Documenting Bitcoin (@DocumentingBTC) May 25, 2021
Speaking at the virtual Consensus 2021 conference, Saylor emphasized that the council was formed out of the need to provide greater transparency on the Bitcoin mining industry, and promote sustainable initiatives moving forward:
“The only reason we had the meeting is because we wanted to ensure the success of a decentralized cryptocurrency, and the source of decentralization is energy usage,” Saylor said.
“It turns out that Bitcoin miners don’t actually have a good forum for communicating how they generate their energy. We don’t have a standard model for Bitcoin energy usage right now, and we don’t have a future forecast model that we commonly use.”
However the Bitcoin Mining Council has proven controversial in some quarters with comparisons to the oil production cartel OPEC. Podcaster Marty Bent, the co-founder of Great American Mining, which utilizes wasted gas from energy plants to power its Bitcoin mining operations — drew comparisons to the controversial Bitcoin scaling plans emerging out of the 2017 New York Agreement, in his May 24 newsletter:
“Do they not recall the last time there was a closed door meeting that involved stakeholders who attempted to speak on behalf of an entire industry?”
But Saylor was quick to rebuff notions there was anything clandestine or non-transparent about the meeting. “If it was a secret meeting, I wouldn’t have told millions of people the next day that it was a secret meeting. Trust me, you know, we told everybody in the world that we had a meeting,” he said.
He emphasizing the need to fight back against a hostile anti-cryto narrative portrayed by some institutions and media outlets:
“We need to make sure the people that are hostile to Bitcoin and hostile to the crypto industry aren’t defining those narratives and defining those models and defining those metrics. In the absence of any good information or any response on our part, they will define those models.”
The council is made up of North American miners, including Argos Blockchain, Blockcap, Galaxy Digital, Hive Blockchain, Hut 8 Mining, Marathon Digital, and Riot Blockchain.
Elon Musk’s involvement
Saylor revealed that after a “very long conversation” with Elon Musk, the MicroStrategy CEO reached out to the Bitcoin mining firms and asked if they’d like to meet the entrepreneur. During the “constructive” meeting, the other attendees reportedly asked Musk for advice on how to combat the growing carbon anxiety surrounding Bitcoin:
“We asked Elon for his advice about how we might actually manage concerns in the mainstream. We had a detailed conversation about it. We talked about how we might be able to surface better data. “
Musk’s reported “first-order ask” was “can we come up with a way to publish or create transparency for Bitcoin mining energy usage?” and Saylor echoed this sentiment when he stated:
“I think the first step is, let’s come up with a protocol for us to publish energy information in a way that we can share it with the world and then work together to make sure that we pursue sustainable energy goals.”
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