Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Debate is Heating Up Between Pro-Miners and Government Agencies

The Takeaway:

In response to claims made by House Democrats calling for an investigation into the environmental effects of cryptocurrency mining, a group of Bitcoin industry executives has issued a statement refuting their assertions.

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Bitcoin’s most ardent supporters have banded together to defend Proof-of-Work(PoW) mining.

Bitcoin industry executives responded to a request from House Democrats to investigate the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining in a letter sent to Environmental Protection Agency chairman Michael S. Regan on Monday.

The Letter to the EPA 

In a letter to the EPA, Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) and 22 other members of Congress requested that the agency ensure cryptocurrency mining facilities are not in violation of fundamental environmental statutes like the Clean Water Act or the Clean Air Act. 

Several Bitcoin industry leaders, including Block CEO Jack Dorsey, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, and Galaxy Digital CEO Michael Novogratz, joined forces to refute the House Democrats’ claim that cryptocurrency mining harms the environment. The effort garnered the support of 55 Bitcoin industry executives.

The rebuttal addresses several of the accusations stated in Huffman’s letter, which was delivered to the Environmental Protection Agency on April 20. 

Mining rigs are similar to conventional data centers!

The fact that the initial letter combined Bitcoin mining data centers with power generation facilities was a major source of contention. 

“Power generation facilities are not data centers in the traditional sense. Data Centers containing minerals’ are no different than data centers owned and operated by Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft,” the rebuttal stated. “Miners are no different than other types of data centers.” 

Regarding one mining rig in Greenidge, New York 

The letter argued that the specific crypto mining operation that a facility in Greenidge, NYC, powers does not use coal to power its operations. Thus, statements that coal ash ponds at Greenbridge are a result of current crypto mining operations would be untrue and defamatory.

The rebuttal also responds to assertions that the cryptocurrency mining sector generates massive amounts of technological garbage. 

According to Huffman’s letter, Bitcoin mining generates 30,700 tons of electronic waste per year. However, such figures were derived from a highly-criticized research study that assumed mining rigs would need to be retired after an “extremely short” 1.3-year period.

Most miners use environmentally friendly energy! 

The newest poll results from the Bitcoin Mining Council are also mentioned in the letter. In the study, which was based on a bottom-up analysis of 50 percent of the current hashrate, it was discovered that 64.6 percent of the Bitcoin miners surveyed used environmentally friendly energy. 

By extrapolating this analysis to a global scale and making conservative assumptions, it is estimated that sustainable energy is now used by 58.4 percent of all mining operations.

It is not the first time that well-known personalities like Jack Dorsey have advocated for ecologically friendly Bitcoin mining practices. Dorsey collaborated with Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, to develop plans for a solar-powered Bitcoin mining plant in Texas at the beginning of April.

The fight doesn’t seem to be ending soon! 

While today’s letter represents a significant step forward in the fight against Bitcoin’s detractors, the debate over the environmental consequences of cryptocurrency mining is far from over yet. 

It remains to be seen whether the rebuttal will have an impact on the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to continue its investigation into cryptocurrency mining.

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Disclaimer: The article reflects the opinions of the author and is not representative of Chaintimes’ views.
The article does not offer any investment advice. User discretion is advised when investing in or trading with cryptocurrency. Extensive and diligent research should be carried out by the reader before making a decision.

Rucha Joshi
Rucha Joshi
Rucha Joshi is a team lead at ChainTimes who is fueled by her passion for creative writing. She is eager to turn information into action. With her hunger for knowledge, she considers herself a forever student and a passionate leader.

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