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Crypto Mining Energy Consumption Draws White House Scrutiny



Originally reported by Bloomberg Law, the White House moves to set up policy recommendations to decrease the energy consumption and the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency mining activities.

Costa Samaras, principal assistant director for energy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said:

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. When we think about digital assets, it has to be climate and energy conservation.

The policy is expected by August 2022, and it aims to dissect the claims that have touted cryptocurrency as a local nuisance and a climate nightmare.

The team plans to assess the local noise pollution and the energy efficiency of different mining techniques. They will compare Bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism with the proof-of-stake (PoS) technique of other cryptocurrencies, which is more than 99% energy efficient.

Crypto mining is chiefly a process of completing and verifying transactions of decentralized digital tokens on a blockchain network. Before the BTC and ETH blockchain network verifies a transaction, crypto miners solve a complex mathematical equation for a reward. This process is energy-intensive as it puts computers on the network at a race with each other. Last year, miners earned more than $15 billion, according to data from The Block Research.

The Ethereum team plans to migrate from PoW to PoS. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has announced no plans to do so despite public campaigns calling for it to follow suit.

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