A familiar source told The Block that “recent events in upstate New York”Related to the Bitcoin mining boom have raised concerns among lawmakers.
The United States Congress is organizing a hearing to discuss the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, especially mining of Bitcoin. This was advanced by a report by The Block.
According to the outlet, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives is working on the hearing. Three people familiar with the matter advanced to The Block that the subcommittee is preparing a list of witnesses to account for the mining energy usage used by proof-of-work networks (PoW), like Bitcoin.
The exact schedule for the hearing and the list of witnesses who will participate have not yet been determined, but sources anticipated that the discussion could take place later this month. The members of the Oversight subcommittee did not respond to the media to deny stating the plans for said hearing.
The news comes a few weeks after cryptocurrency industry leaders met for another hearing in Congress. This meeting was intended to answer questions from legislators about the growing space, as well as to propose possible regulatory strategies for the sector.
US lawmakers voice their concerns
The issue about the carbon footprint of mining Bitcoin It made headlines for several months last year. The discussion was initially motivated by Elon Musk’s decision to suspend payments with Bitcoin in your car company Tesla, which was driven by concerns about high grid power consumption. The entrepreneur had previously added the payment option in March, and had also announced a large investment in the cryptocurrency.
Then, in mid-2021, China’s ban brought attention to the issue again when hundreds of miners in the region chose to relocate their operations overseas, including to the US. Bitcoin left China and made the North American nation the top crypto mining hub in terms of hashrate.
According to a report by the University of Cambridge published in October, the United States accounted for about 36% of the hashrate total of Bitcoin. China’s involvement in mining Bitcoin fell close to zero after reaching more than 70% of the network’s global total hash rate Bitcoin during 2019.
The positioning of the US in the mining market attracted the attention of the media and politicians towards the end of the year; especially when some operations moved to old power plants in upstate New York.
In October, dozens of environmental groups asked House and Senate leaders for greater oversight of the sector. Then, in December, Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to Greenidge, a well-known mining operation in New York, expressing concern about the company’s environmental impact.
That was followed by a reportage of New York Times who criticized the crypto mining boom in that state. State Legislator Anna Kelles has joined in on these concerns since early 2022. It should be noted that other states in the country, such as Texas and Wyoming, have also seen the entry of cryptocurrency mining operations in recent months.
One of the nearby sources that spoke to The Block said “recent events in upstate New York“Was what sounded the alarms of legislators.
Article versioned by Hannah Estefanía Pérez / Daily bitcoin
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