Cryptocurrency News

Congressional Hearing On Crypto Mining And Environmental Impact Imminent

A subcommittee has been set up in the US Congress to look into the effects of crypto mining (particularly BTC mining) on the environment. Keep in mind that crypto miners get rewarded when they validate transactions and enhance the safety of a particular network. They are rewarded with the governance token of such a network. While BTC mining has been the most lucrative, several reports have been that it consumes enormous amounts of energy and has a degrading impact on the environment.

A Hearing Is Due, But A Date Hasn’t Been Set Yet

Inside sources reveal that the house energy and commerce committee has inaugurated a sub-committee (known as the oversight and investigations subcommittee) to look into the matter and set up a date for its hearing. Part of the sub committee’s responsibilities would be to identify witnesses that can provide proof that BTC’s pow algorithm consumes vast amounts of energy indeed. While the subcommittee is yet to fix a date, some inside sources reveal that it won’t exceed this month-end.

Another inside source privy to the subcommittee’s discussions revealed that the crypto mining issue has recently become the main discussion of this committee—most China-based crypto miners who were forced to leave the country settled in the US. Consequently, the crypto mining hash rate in the US is now nearly 36%, the highest among all countries worldwide.

It is pertinent to note that most miners who settled in the US are based in Wyoming, upstate New York, and Texas. Crypto miners settled in Wyoming because the state issued a special bulletin in which it stated that it would gladly accept any crypto miner willing to settle in the state.

However, miners opted for Texas because of its deregulated power grid, among other enticements for miners. Those who opted for upstate New York were attracted by the state’s abundance of cheap energy mainly supplied by the Niagara River.

New York Legislators Urged To Increase Oversight On Crypto Mining 

As the number of crypto miners in New York increased, the media and environmentalists’ attention increased. Three months ago, nearly 65 environmental groups summoned the state’s legislators to raise oversight functions on the state’s crypto miners. 

Early last month, one of the state’s miners (Greenidge generation holdings) was allegedly causing a massive spike in the river’s temperature close to its mining hub. Therefore, senator Liz Warren (a firm crypto critic) wrote to the company to start using clean energy. Since then, Greenidge has been embroiled in one controversy or another regarding its crypto mining operations.

After Senator Warren’s letter, the New York Times also released a publication condemning the rise in crypto miners in the state. Furthermore, senator Anna Kelles (toeing the line of Senator Warren) submitted a proposal to the legislature to approve a law prohibiting BTC mining in New York for at least three years or until the crypto miners can start running their operations using clean energy. Kelles and her supporters referenced a 2019 scientific and environmental research urging the state to reduce its carbon emission.

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