US politicians call for scrutiny on environmental impact of crypto mining

House Democrats have appealed to the US government's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the impact of cryptocurrency mining.

US politicians call for scrutiny on environmental impact of crypto mining

Friday April 22, 2022,

1 min Read

More than twenty US lawmakers have signed a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief registering their concern on the environmental costs of cryptocurrency mining. In particular, they are targeting the proof-of-work technology that powers Bitcoin mining.

Led by Jared Huffman of California, and backed by representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the letter praises President Biden's recent executive order, but also claims that mining efforts are affecting residents and use a disproportionate amount of energy.

The letter states, “People living near crypto mining facilities are already suffering the effects of air, water and noise pollution from these facilities.”

It continues on to compare Bitcoin mining operation's energy usage to those of entire countries. “A single bitcoin transaction could power the average US household for a month,” the letter noted. “According to estimates by researchers, bitcoin produces annually carbon emissions comparable to Greece.”

The lawmakers also argue against the proof-of-work mining concept, and say that they would like to see further consideration of the alternate proof-of-stake technology that has “99.99% lower energy demands.”

The letter was signed by more than 20 politicians, all of whom are Democrat members of the US House of representatives.

Edited by Anju Narayanan