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The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has called for the U.S. to conduct further research on the energy impact of bitcoin and other crypto mining to set standards for the industry. U.S. President Joe Biden’s executive order on cryptocurrencies questions what sort of impact crypto mining has on the environment, including the scale of Proof of Work versus Proof of Stake, which differ in their energy needs.
The report calls on federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, to work with states and local officials to develop standards for the industry’s environmental impact. The intensity and source of energy that goes into it, noise pollution, water usage, and how to build carbon-free energy to balance out crypto mining’s consumption.
Should these measures prove ineffective at reducing impacts, the Administration should explore executive actions, and Congress might consider legislation to limit or eliminate the use of high-energy intensity consensus mechanisms for crypto-asset mining. The Biden administration also urged energy regulators and grid operators to ensure that crypto mining doesn’t jeopardize electricity grids’ stability and drive up consumer prices.
On the other hand, Bitcoin miners argue they can contribute to the reliability of electricity grids because they can act as a base load consumer that can power off at times of peak demand, as happened this summer during heatwaves throughout the U.S. and particularly in Texas.
Opinions expressed here are entirely that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Satoshi’s Journal or Satoshi’s Entertainment Company.