Witnesses Address Energy Impacts of Cryptocurrency Mining During House Hearings

“If policymakers take a cautious approach and foster an environment that is pro-innovation, the rewards for consumers, investors, and all Americans could be enormous,” said Gregory. Zerzan, shareholder of Jordan Ramis said.

Witnesses Address Energy Impacts of Cryptocurrency Mining During House Hearings

Five industry experts appearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Trade Oversight Subcommittee had differing views on how lawmakers should address the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies.

In written testimony released before Thursday’s hearing on “Cleaning Cryptocurrencies: The Energy Impact of Blockchains,” former Currency Editor Brian Brooks argued that the energy consumption of mining Bitcoin (BTC) mining is “economically efficient,” as other assets including gold require roughly the same amount of energy to mine, with “a host of other environmental concerns.” Additionally, Brooks said that the traditional global banking system consumed about 2.5 times the amount of electricity to generate the same amount of value that BTC does at its current market capitalization.

John Belizaire, founder and CEO of Soluna Computing and another witness who appeared at the hearing, said that from an energy perspective, mining machines and computers are needed to power money Electronics are “zero waste” and can encourage the development of renewable energy sources. The CEO said that unlike other banking systems, Bitcoin mining includes the option to shut down the system when needed, giving miners the ability to absorb excess energy from the site’s power grid. area instead of straining it.

Cornell Tech professor Ari Juels, who is frequently criticized for crypto mining these days, has been in favor of the entire crypto space but argues in favor of “energy-efficient alternatives.” rather than general proof of work (PoW) for mining. He added that the transition of the Ethereum blockchain to proof of stake (PoS) will likely consume “much less electricity” and have features including smart contracts and non-fungible tokens – unlike Bitcoin.

Juels said: “Bitcoin is not on par with blockchain. “The great promise of blockchain technology does not require Bitcoin or its energy-intensive component known as proof-of-work.”

Steve Wright, a recently retired former general manager of Chelan County in Washington, similarly hinted that miners should consider “mechanisms to ensure crypto production is incentivized to achieve effective results as soon as possible.” Wright noted that the high value of clean energy costs in the region appears to be driving many crypto miners toward fossil-burning, carbon-emitting energy sources for “at least for the time being.” next.”

Related: Bitcoin Mining Becoming More Sustainable: Mining Council Q4 Survey

US lawmakers seem to be paying more attention to crypto and blockchain as the space grows. In December, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on stablecoins and how the United States could join the race to adopt digital currencies. Brooks also testified at a House committee hearing that same month on the role of digital assets in the future of the financial industry.

“While digital tokens are a highly speculative and volatile asset class, they also represent the promise of a future,” said Gregory Zerzan, a shareholder at the business law firm Jordan Ramis. The internet is shared more widely and openly. “If policymakers take a cautious approach and foster a pro-innovation environment, the rewards for consumers, investors, and all Americans could be enormous.”

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