Environmental organizations based in the United States are asking government agencies to take a new approach to regulate cryptocurrency miners. Proof-of-work mining operations have been deemed highly energy-intensive, and they have been criticized for the negative effects caused on the environment.
Environmentalists want the US government to take action against crypto miners
Eight environmental organizations in the US have sent a letter to the US Office of Science and Technology Policy urging the Biden administration to introduce policies that will limit the use of electricity by crypto miners and prevent the climate pollution caused by PoW digital assets such as Bitcoin.
The eight organizations said that crypto mining activities in the United States negatively affected the community by increasing the demand for electricity generated using fossil fuels. Moreover, PoW mining operations contributed to electronic waste, and they could not support the move towards the use of renewable energy.
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The groups also said that the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) should have stringent reviews for these firms regarding their operating permits. This will help to “mitigate the harms of cryptocurrency mining waste disposal in large quantities. They also complained that mining rigs caused noise pollution.
The letter also contained a request to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to ensure that cryptocurrency exchanges only list the digital assets that meet a certain threshold.
The environmental groups said that “requiring exchanges only to list digital assets whose transactions consume electricity below a certain energy-efficient standard would drive innovation or a transition to other validation methods.
Debate over crypto effects on the environment
The potential impact of Bitcoin mining and other crypto activities on the environment has been a heated debate. Last month, 23 members of the House of Representatives asked the EPA to hold the crypto industry accountable, saying that “cryptocurrency mining is poisoning our communities.”
However, Michael Saylor, through the Bitcoin Mining Council, responded by saying, “Certain members of Congress sent a letter to the EPA premised on several misperceptions about #Bitcoin mining. We have authored a response to clarify the confusion, correct inaccuracies, and educate the public.”
New York is currently considering a bill to impose a two-year ban on PoW crypto mining using power generated from fossil fuels. Greenidge Generation Holdings, a mining firm based in New York, has received much criticism from the state over its operations.
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