Crypto’s energy draw is about to come under U.S. policymaker scrutiny
One of the ongoing concerns among the public is the energy use of crypto. Amid news that nations as far-ranging as Iran and Kosovo were temporarily banning mining to relieve pressure on the power grids, U.S. policymakers are about to begin their own sustainability analysis of the sector.
The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will commence an Oversight and Investigations titled Cleaning Up Cryptocurrency: The Energy Impacts of Blockchains. The committee will be led by Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), and fellow democrat, subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), and represents the first major effort by the U.S. government to investigate this pressing topic.
“In just a few short years, cryptocurrency has seen a meteoric rise in popularity. It’s time to understand and address the steep energy and environmental impacts it is having on our communities and our planet,” Pallone and DeGette said in a statement.
“We look forward to examining cryptomining’s growing energy footprint and how proof of work blockchains, in particular, may migrate toward cleaner alternatives and renewable energy solutions.”
Early last year it was found that Bitcoin alone consumed more power than Argentina, and were it a nation it would be one of the top 30 power consumers in the world. It has been almost a year since that report and the popularity of crypto, as well as associated technologies like NFTs, has exploded since.
The U.S. government is a slow-moving beast, but the fact that crypto’s power draw is now on the agenda is noteworthy and significant, and something the global industry should pay close attention to, given that the U.S. does tend to set the lead for global policy in new and emerging fields.