Bitcoin Mining Threatens America’s Climate Change Efforts, White House Science and Tech Department Says

Bitcoin Mining Threatens America's Climate Change Efforts, White House Science and Tech Department Says

The Biden administration is concerned about digital currency mining operations affecting climate change, after the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy published a report that says politicians should take action against crypto mining. The federal government’s entity recommends the Biden administration should encourage more research about mining’s electricity consumption and codify public policy for the entire mining industry.

Office of Science and Technology Policy Report Claims Something Needs to Be Done to Stop Crypto Mining Pollution

According to the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), bitcoin mining could curb the government’s efforts to battle climate change. The OSTP document claims crypto mining operations, particularly blockchains that leverage proof-of-work (PoW), cause air, noise, and water pollution, according to a report published by Bloomberg.

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The OSTP’s report declares that cryptocurrency mining could “raise environmental justice issues for underserved communities.” U.S. president Joe Biden ordered the OSTP and several other agencies to report on the effects of crypto mining production last March.

The OSTP report published on Thursday is one of the first studies to hit Biden’s desk after he initiated the executive order six months ago. The OSTP recommends that the U.S. government should create public policy immediately in order to stop the pollution allegedly associated with PoW mining.

The science and technology department of the United States government believes the federal government needs to collaborate with leaders on the state level in order to set public policy that curbs the so-called mining pollution.

“Depending on the energy intensity of the technology used, crypto assets could hinder broader efforts to achieve net-zero carbon pollution in line with US climate commitments and goals,” the OSTP explained in the report.

White House Science and Tech Department Says if the Federal Government Can’t Get States to Cooperate Then Executive Actions Are Necessary

The latest OSTP report leverages a number of studies and data points from previously published research papers. The science and tech department claims crypto mining operations in the U.S. account for close to the energy leveraged by all the U.S. citizens using personal computers today.

It further claims that mining uses roughly the same amount of energy as America’s diesel-fueled railroads. The OSTP and the Biden administration are hard-pressed on battling climate change and adhering to the Paris Agreement.

The memorandum of understanding stemming from the Paris agreement pledges to reduce the world’s emissions by 50% by 2030. The OSTP details in its report that if the federal government cannot work with state leaders at the local level, then the Biden administration should leverage laws and executive orders that stop the so-called pollution tethered to PoW mining.

“Should these measures prove ineffective at reducing impacts, the administration should explore executive actions, and Congress might consider legislation,” the OSTP’s report concludes.

What do you think about the OSTP’s claims about bitcoin mining? Do you think the Biden administration will react to this report with regulation and public policy? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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