Though cryptocurrencies make inroads into financial markets and receiving record investments, US lawmakers want to know how much power they use. On January 27, 2022, a group of lawmakers, eight of them, signed a letter and sent it to six of the biggest companies who mine Bitcoin. They demanded the release of detailed electricity consumption data.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who leads the group, has already requested this sort of information before from another mining company – Greenridge Generation. Greenridge uses natural gas for power.
Such moves highlight the US government’s concern and the rising pressure to regulate crypto mining activities in the country. There is no doubt that a hearing in Congress last week indicates that the serious investigation may present a chance to align this sector’s development with a need to use cleaner energy. Some essential themes related to the crypto industry which will escalate policy conversations include:
· Total consumption of energy
· Type of fuel in use – fossil or renewable
The amount of energy required to run crypto mining operations is very high and eventually lead to higher emissions and eventually, higher temperatures. Critics of crypto mining also point out instances of companies using fossil fuels to power day to day operations. The hope is to move over to renewable energy sources.
When the topic of possible ventures between crypto mining and sustainable energy use crops up, issues related to Proof of Work and Proof of Stake pop up. This is important because there are many crypto companies to deal with and mining is a very intensive process. Development of alternate and contract based technologies is part of this discussion.