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Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies

U.S. legislators inquire about EPA and DOE’s monitoring of emissions from cryptocurrency mining and energy use

U.S. legislators inquire about EPA and DOE's monitoring of emissions from cryptocurrency mining and energy use
Photo by Pixabay/close up view of a golden coin Photo by Pixabay/close up view of a golden coin
U.S. legislators inquire about EPA and DOE's monitoring of emissions from cryptocurrency mining and energy use
Photo by Pixabay/close up view of a golden coin Photo by Pixabay/close up view of a golden coin

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Energy Department (DOE) have received a letter from Democratic lawmakers from both houses of the U.S. Congress informing them of their findings regarding the energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining and requesting that mining be required to report its emissions and energy use. The Paraguayan Senate, the upper chamber of that nation’s legislature, has, in the meanwhile, approved a complete plan to control cryptocurrencies and permit miners to utilize extra power produced in the nation.

The six American congressmen, led by crypto-skeptic Elizabeth Warren, said in their letter dated July 15 that since China’s prohibition on cryptocurrency mining last year, crypto mining has grown in popularity in the United States. A total of 1,045 MW of power, or the equivalent of all the homes in Houston, Texas, the fourth-largest city in the U.S., was revealed by the seven cryptocurrency mining companies who responded to the senators’ request for information.

The letter made this assertion while citing press reports, academic and government research, and the energy utilization of cryptocurrency miners. “These and similar promises about clean energy use obscure a simple fact: Bitcoin miners are using huge quantities of electricity that could be used for other priority end uses that contribute to our electrification and climate goals,” the report said, dismissing the responding miners’ claims of energy efficiency.

The letter stated, “Our analysis implies that the whole U.S. crypto mining business is likely to be troublesome for energy and emissions, while there is little information currently available on emissions from crypto mining.” The authors asked the EPA and DOE to clarify their authorization to gather data on the crypto-mining business and their plans to do so, noting a number of useful applications for that data.

“These data would be collected to enable valuable public policy activities, including better monitoring of energy use and trends, better evidence for policymaking, improved data for national mitigation analyses, better abilities for evaluating technology policies for the sector, and better modeling of national and regional grid loads and transitions, among other purposes.”

The EPA has frequently been the subject of legislative appeals in support of and against cryptocurrency mining. The crypto business and environmentalists have also commented.

The Paraguayan Senate approved a measure on regulating and mining cryptocurrencies on July 14. Despite initial hostility to the cryptocurrency sector in Paraguay and “heated discussion” over the measure, the industry benefited greatly from it.

The industry will be free from value-added tax, and the National Securities and Exchange Commission of the nation will establish its regulatory and oversight framework (VAT). Additionally, cryptocurrency miners would have access to extra energy at “a special power pricing rate which cannot exceed 15 percent above the industrial rate,” according to a Twitter thread from the bill’s Senate sponsor Fernando Silva Facetti.

Thanks to the Itaipu Dam power plant on the Paraná River, which Paraguay shares with Brazil, the country of Paraguay enjoys an abundance of cheap hydroelectricity.

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