Payments giant Square is mapping out a climate initiative designed to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint.
As part of its goal to become carbon neutral by 2030, Square has pledged $10 million towards its Bitcoin Clean Energy Investment Initiative, the company says in a press release. Under the initiative, Square will carve out a path towards its carbon targets with the support of Watershed, a climate advocacy organization that has helped companies like Shopify, TransferWise, and Stripe to develop high-impact climate programs by leveraging technology.
The company’s Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative aims to help fund companies that are working towards developing renewable energy systems within the Bitcoin mining industry. In addition, Square intends to reduce its own carbon emissions by transitioning to clean energy to power its operations.
Square CEO Jack Dorsey says the Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative could also help accelerate the crypto adoption of renewables globally.
“We believe that cryptocurrency will eventually be powered completely by clean power, eliminating its carbon footprint and driving adoption of renewables globally. Published estimates indicate bitcoin already consumes a significant amount of clean energy, and we hope that Square’s investment initiative will accelerate this conversion to renewable energy.”
Square’s net-zero carbon commitment is aimed at mitigating climate issues that are affecting already-vulnerable communities, says Square chief financial officer Amrita Ahuja.
“Committing to be a net-zero carbon contributor is consistent with our purpose of economic empowerment, as we’ll continue to work for our customers without contributing to longer-term climate issues. Endangering the environment will ultimately disproportionately endanger underserved communities around the world.”
Researchers say the Bitcoin network consumes more energy than Switzerland, and a 2019 study from the crypto investment firm CoinShares found that 74% of Bitcoin mining operations are powered by renewable energy.
Square is set to roll out the Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative in the first quarter of 2021.
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