Crypto market-making firm GSR has committed to using carbon credits to make its entire business carbon neutral, according to an announcement Thursday. This will also include its recently launched bitcoin mining business, which is already powered in part by hydroelectric energy.
Hong Kong-based GSR is one of the oldest liquidity providers in the crypto space. According to the firm, it provides more than $1 billion in liquidity per day for more than 50 crypto protocols and some of the biggest crypto exchanges. It said it has 500 institutional clients and is involved in the over-the-counter market for cryptocurrency options trading.
The firm has been steadily growing its bitcoin mining operations since they began in the first half of 2020. While the firm declined to state its current hash rate, or computing power, according to previous reporting by The Block, its custom trading products created for miners produced an annualized run rate — projected yearly revenue — of $250 million by the end of 2020.
To offset its carbon emissions, GSR has partnered with environmental platform MOSS, which uses blockchain technology to make carbon credits easier to buy. MOSS works by turning its carbon credits into MCO2 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. When these tokens are bought and burned (sent to an inaccessible address), this offsets 1 ton of CO2, according to the company.
GSR will buy tokenized carbon credits for the Fortaleza Ituxi Project, which finances projects that prevent deforestation. The project, which started in 2013, reduced an estimated 11.8 million tCO2 of greenhouse gas emissions within two years. The firm declined to state how many carbon credits it expects to purchase.
According to GSR, half of its bitcoin mining operations are already powered by hydroelectricity. The firm plans to use carbon credits to offset the other half.
GSR anticipates that it will expand its North American bitcoin mining operations in the second half of 2021, with a plan to use clean energy sources. In the long run, it hopes to evolve its mining operations away from carbon credits, to becoming fully carbon neutral through renewable energy.
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