Square Announces Halt of BTC Purchases on Carbon Footprint Concerns

14 May 2021 | Updated: 14 May 2021

Popular fintech payments processor Square has announced that it would no longer purchase more BTC in the foreseeable future. The latest decision got communicated by the Chief Financial Officer of Square, Amrita Ahuja, in an interview with Financial News.

The CFO stated that:

“We don’t have any plans at this point to make further purchases. There are no plans at this point to re-evaluate where we are from a treasury standpoint.”

Square has always been a known supporter of Bitcoin and was one of the first institutional investors to purchase BTC last year. The company currently has 5% of its cash holdings in Bitcoin.

The Jack Dorsey-founded payments processor bought $50 million worth of BTC last year October and doubled down on its BTC acquisition campaign in February this year, spending a total of $170 million. In its most recent earnings report, Square revealed that it suffered a $20 million loss on its Bitcoin investment in Q1 2021.

Square Highlights BTC Carbon Footprint

In her interview with Financial News today, Ahuja also cited the environmental concerns surrounding Bitcoin as one of the reasons the company is halting its Bitcoin purchases.

The Square executive elaborated that:

“Our position has always been that this is an area that needs innovation in terms of renewables and clean energy, and we want to be a part of that. There’s a broader supply chain question around how renewables and clean energy become a greater part of the blockchain in general and a greater part of the overall mining and transaction network. It’s the overall fixed footprint of the network that we need to address.”

The San Francisco-based company revealed research last month, where it cited that Bitcoin could serve as a catalyzing factor for miners to move to cleaner sources of energy in the long term.

That said, there has been a serious concern for the carbon footprint the Bitcoin network leaves because of its operational model. Mining, the primary process that ensures the verification of transactions and the creation of new coins, is an energy-intensive process. This process has sparked intense criticism from environmental conservationists, who argue that there are better and ‘greener’ alternatives to Bitcoin.

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.