The majority of Bitcoin (BTC) is mined outside of the United States using “dirty energy,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has claimed.
Suarez discussed the environmental implications of Bitcoin mining in a March 26 episode of the Unconfirmed podcast with cryptocurrency journalist Laura Shin. The mayor said that the U.S. should mine more Bitcoin for to national security reasons.
“A part of the problem with Bitcoin is 90% of it is not done in the United States. 90% of it is done in countries that have dirty energy. So that’s the reason why it’s considered to be a dirty activity,” Suarez stated.
The official argued that the U.S. would improve this situation by providing its renewable clean energy supply to Bitcoin mining centers and data centers. “We get nuclear power, so we have clean energy. A clean energy supply that’s essentially unlimited,” he said.
Miami could set up a Bitcoin mining hub as part of this national security/environmental conservation goal, Suarez said, adding:
“It would be to benefit the crypto community if we did more mining in the U.S. because we produce clean energy so it would change that narrative and that dynamic and also in the future you will see solar and other kinds of clean technology. In my opinion, technology is going to make Bitcoin mining more efficient.”
Suarez is known as a major proponent of the crypto industry in the U.S., backing multiple crypto initiatives in Miami, including proposals allowing Miami residents to pay taxes and receive salaries in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s energy consumption rate has been growing massively this year amid Bitcoin hitting new historical price levels, renewing arguments over the cryptocurrency’s environmental issues. In mid-March, Bank of America analysts argued that Bitcoin is an environmentally disastrous asset, claiming that the carbon footprint of owning one BTC is equivalent to owning 60 cars.
According to data from Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, Bitcoin's energy consumption rate hit another historic high on March 28, with anestimated annual consumption reaching 89.9 TWh.