Sustainable bitcoin (BTC) miner Iris Energy Pty is confident bitcoin will survive the current scrutiny it is enduring due to environmental concerns.
Australia-based Iris Energy Pty uses renewable energy to power its bitcoin mining operations. According to CEO Daniel Roberts, the massive liquidity bitcoin has seen validates it as a use case. He says this is also the case for the energy-intensive proof-of-work mechanism that bitcoin utilizes to produce the coins and verify transactions.
“It plays a valuable role,” Roberts said. “I don’t think it’s up to any individual to decide where energy should be used. It’s a market-based decision where bitcoin, by virtue of the attraction and adoption it’s gained, is commanding that level of energy to secure it, to secure people’s savings.”
Bitcoin’s recent ESG concerns
The massive amount of energy that bitcoin uses has come to the fore in the public’s mind, recently. This is largely thanks to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said the company would no longer accept bitcoin as payment. This then apparently triggered bitcoin’s recent downfall from its April peak around $65,000, to below $30,000 at one point recently.
This move single-handedly brought environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) front and center to debate surrounding cryptocurrency adoption. Although many shared Musk’s environmental concerns, others noted that other aspects of the financial industry are far more polluting. Musk himself said this debate could be better understood if cryptocurrency miners audited their energy usage.
To this end, Musk participated in a recent discussion by North America’s top crypto miners hosted by MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor. During the summit, the attendees decided to form a Bitcoin Mining Council to promote energy usage transparency and standardize reporting.
Iris Energy plans
Meanwhile, Iris Energy itself has plans for a number of projects including data centers and infrastructure. According to Roberts, the company is continuing to “explore options for SPACs” to help fund those ambitions.
Several special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have approached the firm, which would make it one of the first Australian companies to benefit from them. SPACs are shell companies, which sell shares to list on public stock exchanges to seek and acquire private businesses. A potential U.S. listing for the Sydney-based firm could raise $300 million to $500 million.