Crypto Mining Power Consumption Draws Additional Concern From Lawmakers

Following a January congressional hearing on the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency mining, House lawmakers in the Committee on Energy and Commerce are asking four cryptocurrency mining platforms to disclose more information about their consumption. individual energy.

Addressing Core Scientific, Marathon Digital Holdings, Riot Blockchain, and Stronghold Digital Mining in four separate letters, the House representatives request detailed information on the energy sources used for digital asset mining, the use of renewable energy credits, as well as the volume of time spent. during business operations specifically dedicated to crypto mining activities.

“Blockchain technology holds immense promise that it can make our personal information more secure and the economy more efficient,” the leaders of the Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote. “However, the power consumption and hardware required to support [proof-of-work]Cryptocurrency-based cryptocurrencies can, in some cases, produce serious externalities in the form of harmful emissions and excess e-waste.”

Most cryptocurrency and digital asset transactions are made using proof-of-work registry software technology that ensures security during crypto mining. Significant amounts of electricity are needed to process the complex algorithms that precede each ledger transaction that leads to a digital currency token.

The high use of electricity during crypto mining activity has come under scrutiny from environmental advocates for its demand on power grids, contributing to more fossil fuel emissions and thus climate change.

“Given the existential threat posed by the climate crisis, we are deeply concerned about efforts like this increasing demand for fossil fuels, with the potential to put new pressure on our energy grid,” he wrote. Representatives Frank Pallone, DN.J., Bobby Rush, D-lll., Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Paul Tonko, DN.Y.

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In addition to a detailed picture of electricity consumption, the committee is also looking for 2021 year-end summaries of electricity used by crypto mining facilities and future plans by companies to reduce useless energy consumption or offset waste consumption. electricity from its data centers.

Multiple legislators have zeroed in on the power demands of cryptocurrencies as the industry continues to grow. In early 2022, a bicameral group of lawmakers wrote to Department of Energy leadership to underscore the number of uses of electricity blockchain proof-of-work software, presenting data suggesting that crypto mining companies generated large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. carbon through its data processing. .

“The results of our research, which collected data from just seven companies, are disturbing, as only this limited data reveals that crypto miners are large energy users that account for a significant and rapidly growing amount of carbon emissions,” the researchers noted. legislators. . “Our research suggests that the US crypto mining industry in general is likely to be problematic for energy and emissions.”

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