The White House Office of Science and Technology issued a report Thursday urging both the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy (DOE), to take measurable measures to curb high energy consumption from crypto mining proof of-work.
The report is among the first responses to US President Joe Biden’s executive order on cryptocurrencies.
The document acknowledges that cryptocurrency technology uses a lot of electricity, which can contribute to global warming, noise, and other environmental impacts.
As an introduction, the first section of this report suggests that the government might ban proof-of-work crypto mining operations if it fails to take regulatory action to help the country achieve its climate goals.
“Should these measures prove ineffective at reducing impacts, the Administration should explore executive actions, and Congress might consider legislation, to limit or eliminate the use of high energy intensity consensus mechanisms for crypto-asset mining,” the report said.
The next section of the document examines the effects of crypto mining on national electric grids. The White House’s Science and Technology team claims that Bitcoin mining, powered by a proof-of-work consensus mechanism, adds stress on the power grid that results in cases of blackouts, fire hazards, and equipment deterioration. According to the report Bitcoin mining has increased the average electricity price for local consumers.
“Depending on the energy intensity of the technology used, crypto-assets could hinder broader efforts to achieve net-zero carbon pollution consistent with U.S. climate commitments and goals,” the report elaborated.
The report’s final section suggested ways that Bitcoin mining could benefit efforts to achieve U.S. climate goals. The report called for responsible development of digital assets, and suggested solutions to dramatically reduce crypto energy consumption.
The report recommended the use of the “less energy-intensive consensus mechanism, called Proof of Stake (PoS), which is considered to consume less than 0.001% of global electricity usage.
The White House encouraged crypto miners to also consider electricity from vented or flared methane at oil-gas wells and landfills as an alternative.
Why does the White House take an interest in my case?
The U.S. President Biden signed a March executive order asking the government to investigate the risks and benefits associated with crypto assets.
The measures targeted six key areas, including consumer protection, financial inclusion, financial stability and U.S. competition. They also addressed illicit activity and responsible innovation.
The executive order was a kind of a ‘call to action’ that laid out a series of policy statements, such as the need to protect consumers, investors, and businesses in the US, as well as the need to support technological advances that promote responsible development and use of digital assets.
According to the executive order, a series of reports should be coordinated by interagency processes from many stakeholders in executive branches.