Fintech giant Block (formerly Square) works with Bitcoin infrastructure company Blockstream on Bitcoin mining facility powered by Tesla solar products
Digital payments company Block (formerly Square) and Bitcoin infrastructure firm Blockstream have begun building a Bitcoin mining facility in Texas that is to be powered by Tesla’s solar and energy storage devices, said Blockstream chief executive Adam Back.
The facility is to be constructed at one of Blockstream’s sites in Texas, the state where Tesla is also now headquartered, and where the electric car maker opened its second US vehicle factory last week.
Crypto-mining companies have in recent months adopted strategies to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, amidst environmental criticism.
In May of last year Tesla scrapped a plan to accept Bitcoin as payment for cars due to pollution concerns.
“This is a step to proving our thesis that Bitcoin mining can fund zero-emission power infrastructure and build economic growth for the future,” said Back.
The facility is planned for completion later this year with a projected 3.8 Megawatts of solar renewable power.
The $12 million (£9.2m) venture was announced in June 2021 as part of Block’s aim of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, with funding split betwen the two companies.
Victoria, Canada-based Blockstream is best known for Liquid, a Bitcoin sidechain that makes for faster transactions than are possible over the main blockchain.
The company, founded by British cryptographer Back, also offers crypto mining, hosting and energy-efficiency development services.
Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory
Blockstream said it would provide a publicly accessible dashboard showing real-time metrics of the project’s performance, including power output and amount of Bitcoin mined.
Later on the firm plans to provide an updated dashboard with solar and power-storage performance data to “serve as an industry case study for future projects”.
Tesla said last March it would accept Bitcoin for vehicle purchases, but cancelled the plan in May. The car maker said in a February regulatory filing that it held Bitcoin worth about $1.99bn as of the end of 2021.
The company moved its headquarters from California to Texas in October of last year and last week officially opened its second US car plant outside Austin.
The company invited 15,000 people to the opening event for the factory, where it plans to manufacture its long-delayed Cybertruck and other vehicles destined for the US East Coast.