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Bitcoin Mining Council unveils details, confirms Elon Musk has ‘no role’

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The Bitcoin Mining Council made a formal debut on Thursday as the debate regarding the environmental impact of the digital asset intensifies.

The Bitcoin Mining Council describes itself as a “voluntary and open forum of Bitcoin miners committed to the network and its core principles”. Its mandate is to promote transparency, endorse good practices, and foster Bitcoin education according to the official website.

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor is one of the founding members who posted a call to arms on his Twitter feed on June 10.

The organization consists of a group of energy-conscious North American Bitcoin mining companies. It was first suggested by Elon Musk in a Tweet in late May, but he has since clarified that he will have no role at the Council. The site goes out of its way to underline this point:

“Elon Musk has no role at the BMC. The extent of his involvement was joining an educational call with a group of North American companies to discuss Bitcoin mining.”

In addition to MicroStrategy, founding members include investment management firm Galaxy Digital, blockchain mining company Argo, blockchain technology firm Hive, and Bitcoin mining company Riot. The founding members will cover any running costs and have invited any Bitcoin miner from anywhere around the world to join. It stated that any miner joining should:

“Believe that transparency around energy usage for mining is important and agree to voluntarily share their energy mix and hashrate size for research and educational purposes.”

The BMC will hold quarterly meetings in order to analyze mining trends, partner with industry researchers, gather data for educational purposes, and foster growth in the North American BTC mining industry.

The group confirmed that it is completely independent of the Bitcoin network itself and has no intentions to disrupt its decentralization.

“We don’t seek to change the decentralized nature of Bitcoin or its core principles, but rather are working to raise awareness about Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining.”

It added that the Council believes that Bitcoin’s energy usage is a feature, not a bug, providing tremendous network security. The energy consumption of global mining operations has come under the spotlight recently in the wake of Elon Musk’s comments regarding its environmental impact.

The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) estimates Bitcoin’s annual electricity consumption is currently somewhere between that of Holland and the UAE.

Following recent state clampdowns, China’s hashrate dominance is dwindling while America’s is increasing as mining operations can tap into cheap renewable energy in states such as Texas.

More firms are setting up operations in the U.S., attracted by this abundance of renewable energy. The latest collaboration between mining software company Luxor and institutional Bitcoin technology and financial services firm NYDIG aims to foster growth in the rapidly expanding industry.

However, one of the biggest winners for geographical reasons is neighboring Kazakhstan.





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Opposition poses constitutional challenge to El Salvador’s Bitcoin law

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El Salvador’s grand plans to promote Bitcoin adoption could be turned on their head if President Bukele’s Bitcoin law is proven to be unconstitutional in the country’s courts.

A group of citizens joining forces with political party, Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), has filed a lawsuit claiming President Bukele’s Bitcoin adoption program is unconstitutional.

FMLN legislator, Jaime Guevara, led the move along with citizens including plaintiff Óscar Artero, who characterize the country’s Bitcoin law as “lacking in legality, foundation, and did not consider the significance and harmful effects that such a law will cause to the country,” according to a rough translation from local media outlet El Mundo.

Guevara stated the complaint will test the newly appointed magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice.

The FMLN came third in February’s legislative election with nearly 7% of the vote, while Bukele’s New Ideas established a dominant lead with two-thirds of votes. Second-placed Nationalist Republican Alliance secured nearly 8%.

Salvadorian lawyer, Enrique Anaya, commented that the Presidential House was not clear on how to implement the Bitcoin Law, which was approved on June 9, and suspects that the lawmakers may have even initiated the lawsuit internally.

Guevara stated it is “widely rumored” the Bitcoin law advances the agenda of President Nayib Bukele and his New Ideas (Nuevas Ideas) Party at the expense of the public interest, stating, describing the lawsuit as “simply representing the people”.

A survey of 1,600 individuals conducted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of El Salvador between June 11 and 15 indicated that more than eight out of ten Salvadorans would not agree to receive payments and salaries in Bitcoin. On June 16, El Salvador’s Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Rolando Castro, said the country is not yet ready to adopt Bitcoin for salary payments.

Related: Steve Hanke warns BTC could ‘completely collapse the economy’ of El Salvador

The Bitcoin adoption plan has already experienced pushback from the World Bank, which refused to assist the country in its transition, citing “the environmental and transparency shortcomings” associated with the digital asset.

As reported by Cointelegraph, even if the Bitcoin law remains in place, there are still many hurdles to mainstream adoption by an entire nation due to its scaling limitations.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin prices had slumped 7% over the past 24 hours to trade at $32,800.