Michael Saylor has announced his intent to form a Bitcoin Mining Council. The initiative, which counts with the support of the leading Bitcoin mining operations in North America, aims to promote sustainability initiatives and increase transparency worldwide.
The announcement was made by Michael Saylor, Founder, and CEO of MicroStrategy, via a Tweet on May 24th amid growing concerns about the environmental impact of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency mining continue to increase.
The debate around the energy requirements of crypto mining has become a major source of the escalation between Bitcoin critics and supporters, becoming one of the most influential factors in the market’s behavior.
Yesterday I was pleased to host a meeting between @elonmusk & the leading Bitcoin miners in North America. The miners have agreed to form the Bitcoin Mining Council to promote energy usage transparency & accelerate sustainability initiatives worldwide. https://t.co/EHgLZ9zvDK
— Michael Saylor (@michael_saylor) May 24, 2021
According to Saylor’s tweet, the creation of the Bitcoin Mining Council was the result of a meeting between himself and executives representing crypto mining operations like Argo, Blockcap, Core Scientific, Galaxy Digital, Hive, Hut 8 Mining, Marathon Digital Holdings, and Riot Blockchain, some of the most influential companies in the crypto space.
The organization was formed with the intention to “standardize energy reporting, pursue industry ESG goals, & educate+grow the marketplace.”
These goals should help address the growing concerns by environmentalists, regulators, and the general public who find themselves puzzled by the conflicting information that has surfaced over the past months.
The Council is Already the Center of Controversy
While few details have been provided when it comes to how these objectives will be achieved by the organization, experts and investors are already speculating and offering suggestions on what the best approaches could be.
With all the parties involved in the creation of the Council, users are worried that their interests could be the ones guiding the actions taking by the council instead of the interest of the average Bitcoin user.
Critics have also been quick to point out the risk that such an organization could represent in terms of “centralizing” power in a way that could allow the manipulation of the decentralized cryptocurrency.
Peter Wall, CEO of Argo Blockchain, referred to concerns about the power the council could hold over Bitcoin’s protocol by stating:
“We’re not talking about Bitcoin code or block size or anything related to changing the nature of Bitcoin, We all love Bitcoin the way it is, as a decentralized, permissionless system.”
While Saylor has been a major supporter of cryptocurrency, his lack of experience when it comes to cryptocurrency mining has been pointed out by critics of the organization who believe the initiative should be led by an actual expert.
Leading a Leaderless Community
As the cryptocurrency that started the blockchain and crypto movement which has gained the support of billions of people around the world, the decision to create a council to make decisions regarding the network has been one of the central topics in the crypto space for the past 2 days.
In the past, companies have agreed to work together to boost the evolution and growth of Bitcoin, as was the case with the Bitcoin Scaling Agreement at Consensus 2017, also known as the New York Agreement, in which more than 50 companies met behind closed doors to decide Bitcoin’s future.
While the new council has claimed not to be interested in changing the underlying infrastructure of the network in any way but only to coordinate efforts to defend bitcoin against “uninformed” and “hostile” critics, the precedent has proven worrisome for Bitcoin veterans.
Great American Mining co-founder, Marty Bent, shared his concerns by stating:
“It’s extremely concerning that this group of bitcoiners wandered into this ‘meeting’ without any sense of self-awareness. Do they not recall the last time there was a closed-door meeting that involved industry stakeholders who attempted to speak on behalf of an entire industry? How did they think this would turn out? The hubris is astounding.”
While it certainly is still too early to know what the creation of the Council will imply for the crypto ecosystem in terms of “leadership”, the dichotomy that its creation and intention imply has proven to be mobilizing enough for a debate around what constitutes “decentralization” and how far it extends to ensue.