Crypto Mining Under White House Scrutiny

  • Soaring energy costs and climate goals are gradually drawing the Biden administration’s attention towards the toll that the mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is having on the environment.
  • The government has tasked a technical team with analyzing these issues, and making recommendations to legislators on Capitol Hill.

The White House is very seriously examining the impact of cryptocurrency mining on the climate, and the high levels of energy consumption by mining farms operating in the United States.

To better curb the issue, the administration of President Joe Biden is preparing a series of policy recommendations for release, according to principal assistant in the energy section of the Office of Science and Technology Regulation, Costa Samaras.

The recommendations aim to reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of cryptocurrency mining. The U.S. government hopes to thoroughly tackle the impact of mining activities, which are contributing to overloads of the country’s electrical network and threatening climate objectives, according to critics.

"It’s important, if this is going to be part of our financial system in any meaningful way, that it’s developed responsibly and minimizes total emissions," Samaras, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, told Bloomberg.

More Pressure on Industry Investors

The report is expected to be ready by the middle of the year. Through its release, legislators are expecting to attain a broader base of support for the approval of regulatory measures on mining activities.

According to the publication, it is not yet clear which government agency will be charged with carrying out the regulations approved by Congress. So far, what is known is that authorities in the energy sector, such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) will not.

As explained by Samaras, the recommendations issued by the White House will surely pressure investors into avoiding participation or connection with cryptocurrency mining, especially if the activities do not comply with environmental regulations.

On the Flipside

  • The White House considers cryptocurrencies to be a matter of national security. At the beginning of the year, the Biden administration issued instructions to regulators to develop a regulatory framework for digital assets.
  • Several months ago, an adviser to the government let it slip live on T.V. that the government was mining Bitcoin.
  • The Federal Reserve is moving forward with not only issuing the digital dollar (CBDC), but also seems to have accepted that it will have to live with stablecoins.

The study being carried out by the government, with the support of a large technical team, aims to carry out an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in relation to their energy consumption and subsequent impact on the environment, revealed Samaras.

All aspects of mining will be evaluated, including environmental and noise pollution, and the energy efficiency of the different mining techniques being utilized. Likewise, comparisons will be made on the Proof of Work and the Proof of Stake models to determine their respective degrees of efficiency.

"We’ve seen reports about noise, local pollution, older fossil generators being restarted in communities. These are not trivial loads.” outlined the specialist.

Why You Should Care

  • The government has so far tread lightly around the cryptocurrency issue, especially given its fiscal goals and the interest expressed by various states in filling out their coffers through taxes on mining.
  • The report, which will be presented in August, will outline a set of regulatory guidelines for the consideration of legislators in Congress.

On the other side of the coin, mining companies and exchanges have been carrying out intense lobbying in Washington to prevent Congress from applying harsh measures on the crypto industry in general.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Santiago Contreras

Santiago is a Venezuelan blockchain reporter specializing in economic and financial issues, with special emphasis on stablecoin trading as well as political and regulatory issues related to Latin America. Every day he reviews and analyzes movements in the crypto market to offer readers first-hand information that can help them make sound decisions in the exciting world of crypto.