Crypto currency

Blockstream and Macquarie Group launch Bitcoin mining pilot program

Blockchain infrastructure developer Blockstream has partnered with Macquarie Group, an Australian multinational investment bank, to launch a new pilot for a Bitcoin (BTC) mining facility with a mandate of exploring carbon-neutral alternatives. 

As part of the pilot project, Macquarie is investing in one of Blockstream’s enterprise-grade mining facilities, the companies announced Wednesday. This will allow Macquire 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 renewable energy infrastructure, with 44 gigawatts of generation under development or construction as of March 31, 2021.

Blockstream has broadened its ambitions in the Bitcoin mining industry after successfully raising $210 million in Series B financing. In addition to the successful fundraiser, the company disclosed that it had acquired the intellectual property of Spondoolies, a Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer. As a result, the core team at Spondoolies joined Blockstream’s newly developed ASIC unit.

As Cointelegraph reported in June, Blockstream’s increasing focus on Bitcoin mining attracted a sizable investment from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who committed $5 million towards a solar-powered mining facility.

Related: Crypto mining needs to be redefined before simply casting it away

Bitcoin mining received considerable mainstream attention this year after Tesla CEO Elon Musk seemingly disavowed the cryptocurrency over concerns that its network was environmentally unsustainable. A public debate about renewably sourced Bitcoin soon emerged, with industry champion Michael Saylor convening an industry group composed of BTC miners. Musk appears to have softened his stance on miners’ negative environmental impact, going as far as confirming that SpaceX, another company he owns, also has Bitcoin on its books.

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.