Amidst a backlash against bitcoin's impact on the environment, cryptocurrency outfit Gemini has vowed to offset its carbon emissions.
The firm is working with Climate Vault, a non-profit founded at the University of Chicago, to make contributions to purchase carbon permits for nearly 350,000 metric tons of carbon. The permits offset the non-renewable energy consumed by miners on the Bitcoin Network to secure the bitcoin that Gemini custodies.
While the carbon cost of bitcoin mining has long been known, the issue flared up recently when Elon Musk's Tesla backtracked on plans to let people buy cars with the cryptocurrency after a backlash over the environmental consequences.
Climate Vault is purchasing permits for Gemini directly from government-regulated cap-and-trade markets and removing them from circulation. This prevents other market participants from using them to emit CO2. The resulting reduction in allowed emissions is equivalent to nearly a billion miles driven by a typical passenger car.
In addition, the Winklevoss-led company has allocated $1 million to support companies, projects, and nonprofits that are focused on sustainability in the crypto industry.
"As bitcoin emerges as a dominant store of value, it's imperative that we incorporate sustainability for future generations. We are proud to team up with Climate Vault to offset our exposure to non-renewable mining and contribute to the decarbonizing of bitcoin," says Tyler Winklevoss, CEO, Gemini.