- According to the letter, a national registry mandate would increase transparency and regular disclosures from all crypto mining facilities concerning their energy sources, emissions, and metering agreements with local utilities.
- The letter by US Senators primarily raised concerns about how energy-intensive crypto mining is taking a heavy toll on the environment.
Five US Senators sent a letter to the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy(OSTP) urging them to create a “national registry” for Bitcoin Proof of Work miners. The letter primarily raised concerns about how energy-intensive crypto mining is taking a heavy toll on the environment. US Senators believe energy intensive mining is threatening to pull the nation further off track from meeting its climate commitments.
According to the letter, a national registry mandate would increase transparency and regular disclosures from all crypto mining facilities concerning their energy sources, emissions, and metering agreements with local utilities. The letter also detailed how introducing an energy efficiency standard for crypto mining facilities would benefit the environment.
The letter suggests that the U.S. could direct all domestic crypto mining operations to be powered exclusively by verified new, zero-carbon energy sources or only rely on excess renewables from extant sources and partner with other countries to do the same. The Senators who sent the letter were Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Ed Markey (D-MA).
In their letter, they recommended United States to restrict energy use for crypto mining to verify zero-carbon sources and to increase transparency on energy consumption. Commenting on the energy consumed during PoW mining, the letter describes PoW mining an “increasingly energy-intensive process used by the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The US Senators states that the annual global electricity consumption associated with Bitcoin and Ethereum mining is estimated to be 300 TWh which is comparable to the consumption of the United Kingdom. Raising environmental concerns, the letter points out that the emissions associated with PoW mining can negate their transition to a clean energy future.
The letter also called out the common belief that cryptocurrency mining rigs and the computing system used for mining can be considered a battery and be used to stabilize the electricity grid. The U.S. Senators described the analogy as deeply flawed and stated that crypto mining increase stressing on the electricity grid.
The environmental concerns related to PoW Mining have long sparked discussions and debates ever since crypto’s inception. Recently European Union Legislators have put forth a proposal to ban Pow Cryptocurrencies to tackle environmental issues.