Bitcoin Mining Threatens The Climate Change Efforts Of The US

The Office of Science and Technology Policy in the US recently published a report, which said that action is required from politicians where crypto mining is concerned.

Therefore, the Biden administration has now become concerned about the impact of climate change associated with digital currency mining activities in the country.

According to the entity of the federal government, the Biden administration should do some research into the electricity consumption associated with crypto mining.

It also recommends that public policy be codified for the whole mining industry.

The report

The report from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) dictates that the efforts of the government to curb climate change could be derailed by bitcoin mining.

The report said that crypto mining activities, especially blockchains using the proof-of-work (PoW) protocol cause water, noise, and air pollution.

It said that crypto mining could give rise to environmental justice issues. Last March, US President Joe Biden had given an executive order to OSTP and other agencies to give a report about the effects of crypto mining.

The OSTP had published its report in the previous week and it is one of the first ones to reach Biden’s desk after he issued the executive order almost six months earlier.

The recommendations

According to the recommendations of the OSTP, the US government should immediately develop public policy for putting a stop to the pollution generated via PoW mining.

The US government’s science and technology department believes that there needs to be a collaboration between the federal government and leaders on state levels for setting a public policy to curb mining pollution.

The OSTP said that depending on how much energy is used by the technology, crypto assets may stand in the way of efforts aimed at achieving zero carbon pollution according to the US’s climate goals and commitments.

Executive actions

A number of studies were leveraged in the OSTP report and it also used data from papers published previously.

According to the science and tech department, the energy consumed by crypto operations in the country is the same as the energy used by all US citizens with personal computers.

It further stated that crypto mining uses the same amount of energy as the diesel-fueled railroads in the US.

The Biden administration and the OSTP are committed to battling climate change and sticking to the Paris Agreement.

As per the agreement, the world’s carbon emissions need to be reduced by 50% by 2030. As per the OSTP, if the federal government and state leaders cannot work together, executive orders may be needed.

It said that the Biden administration would need to leverage laws and these orders for stopping the pollution associated with crypto mining.

The OSTP report concluded that if these measures are not enough for reducing the impact of climate change, then the administration should also look into executive actions.

Moreover, Congress can also consider introducing legislation for this purpose, something that a number of other countries are also considering.