Five US Senators sent letter to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) with a request to limit the use of energy for Proof-of-Work (PoW) crypto miners.
Senators – Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren, Tina Smith, Jeff Merkley and Ed Markey – expressed concern about the impact of PoW mining on the environment. The energy-intensive nature of the industry could also prevent the US from meeting its climate goals, according to the letter.
To help the country get back on track, the senators proposed the creation of a national PoW crypto miner registry that would allow the government to request increased transparency and regular disclosure from PoW mining entities.
In addition, the letter proposed introducing an energy efficiency standard for mining objects. In doing so, the government could direct all PoW mining businesses to use new, proven, zero-carbon or renewable energy sources, lawmakers said.
In explaining why the OSTP should look into the above proposals, the senators stated that the US is the largest mining location for cryptocurrencies, accounting for roughly 35% of Bitcoin’s hashrate.
According to the letter:
The annual global electricity consumption associated with the mining of the two major cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, is estimated at about 300 terawatt hours of energy, which is comparable to consumption in the United Kingdom.
Regulation of the PoW mining sector is proving to be a difficult task
The news comes on the heels of New York Mayor Eric Adams, who said he would ask Gov. Hole to veto. Assembly invoice A7389C. Sponsored and written by Representative Anna Kelles, the bill calls for a two-year ban on PoW miners that use fossil fuels.
The bill was recently passed in New York State and is now awaiting Gov. Hochul’s signature. However, Hochul is not yet willing to take sides. Deciding the fate of legislation requires balancing, she said. While she understands the need to protect the environment, Hochul also sees it vital to preserve job opportunities that don’t generate a lot of activity.
While it is unclear whether Hochul will sign the bill or veto it, regulation of the cryptocurrency mining industry remains a contentious issue, with lawmakers differing in their views. Earlier this year, the ECON Committee of the European Union voted against an outright ban on PoW mining.
Moreover, the introduction of PoW mining bans proved to be a tough nut to crack. An example is China, which banned the mining of cryptocurrencies last year. Although this ban forced major mining companies to leave the country, a recent report from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF) shows that China provides 22.29% of the BTC hash rate.
Credit : cryptoslate.com