The Bitcoin Mining Council kicks off with MicroStrategy's boss at the helm - but Elon Musk isn't part of the group

The Bitcoin Mining Council kicks off with MicroStrategy's boss at the helm - but Elon Musk isn't part of the group
MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor is one of the most prominent bitcoin bulls.Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • The Bitcoin Mining Council, led by MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, made its debut on Thursday.
  • Its goals are to promote energy transparency, sustainable mining, and the benefits of bitcoin.
  • Elon Musk, who suspended bitcoin payments for Tesla last month, won't be part of the forum.

The Bitcoin Mining Council formally launched on Thursday, bringing together industry leaders to tackle concerns around the digital asset's environmental impact - but Elon Musk isn't part of it.

Members of the group, described by its instigator MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor as a "voluntary and open forum" of bitcoin miners, first came together in a high-profile meeting in May to discuss ways around those concerns. Research by Cambridge University indicates bitcoin generation consumes as much electricity each year as countries like Sweden.
The prominent miners involved have pledged to share information on their energy usage, and BMC membership is open to any bitcoin miner that agrees to voluntarily do the same, for the purpose of research and developing best practices.
"We promote transparency, share best practices, and educate the public on the benefits of #bitcoin and bitcoin mining," Saylor said in a tweet.

Saylor, whose business-intelligence company is the largest corporate holder of bitcoin, has been on a mission to squash criticism of the huge amount of energy used in generating the digital asset since Elon Musk said the environmental impact was the reason Tesla stopped accepting payments in it.

After the May meeting, Musk showed interest in the group, describing it as "potentially promising." But the BMC said the Tesla CEO will not participate further.

"Elon Musk has no role at the BMC," the group said in its launch statement. "The extent of his involvement was joining an educational call with a group of North American companies to discuss bitcoin mining."

Along with MicroStrategy, the founding members are eight energy-conscious companies involved in cryptocurrencies, including Riot Blockchain, Galaxy Digital, and Argo. Read More: Morningstar lays out the 10 highest-conviction bets being made by US stock-pickers right now - and shares 4 Big Tech names that look cheap

Musk's comments on the ecological impact of bitcoin mining sparked a debate that partly prompted a major cryptocurrency sell-off last month. Concerns have not abated, and on Wednesday, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said the amount of energy required for the token is a "disaster for our planet."

But the BMC says it believes bitcoin's energy usage is a feature, not a bug, and provides network security. It intends to hold quarterly meetings to present bitcoin mining trends and share best practices from miners to foster growth.

The founding members will cover any operating expenses for the first year of operation of the BMC, the group said in its statement. Any surplus funding will go back into bitcoin's core development.