The largest US cryptocurrency companies have the ability to use the same amount of electricity as almost every home in Houston, Texas; Energy use contributing to higher utility bills, according to an investigation by Democratic lawmakers.
Cryptomining is an energy-intensive process that involves using specialized computers that are constantly working to solve complex math problems in order to create new virtual currencies.
Industry energy use is greater than Whole countries. The US has become a crypto hub after it was banned in China. More than a third of the global computing power devoted to mining bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, comes from the United States, Senator Elizabeth Warren and five other Democrats report message Environmental Protection Agency.
“The results of our investigation…disturbing…reveal that cryptocurrency operators are large energy users that account for a significant – and rapidly growing – amount of carbon emissions,” the letter read. “It is imperative that your agencies work together to address the lack of information about crypto energy use and environmental impacts.”
Congressional Democrats have asked the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of energy Requiring cryptographers to disclose emissions and energy use, noting that regulators know little about the industry’s full environmental impact.
The lawmakers requested information from seven of the largest US crypto companies, including Stronghold, Greenidge, Bit Digital, Bitfury, Riot, BitDeer and Marathon, about the energy sources, consumption and climate impacts of their operations. The data revealed that the industry is using a large amount of electricity, ramping up production and creating significant carbon emissions at a time when the United States needs to cut emissions significantly to combat the climate crisis.
Emissions data from three companies, Bit Digital, Greenidge and Stronghold, indicated that their operations produce 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, an amount produced by nearly 360,000 cars. The lawmakers wrote that their environmental impact is significant despite industry claims about clean energy use and climate commitments.
The letter states that “Bitcoin miners are using massive amounts of electricity that can be used for other priority end uses that contribute to our electricity and climate goals, such as replacing home furnaces with heat pumps.”
“Current energy use in crypto operations leads to significant amounts of carbon emissions and other negative impacts on air quality, as well as impacts on the electrical grid.”
Industry energy demand is also coming at the expense of consumers, the letter states, citing a study that found cryptocurrencies in upstate New York have driven up electricity bills by about $165 million for small businesses and $79 million for individuals.
In Texas, which has become a hub for coding, the industry is expected to continue to expand significantly in the coming years, increasing the amount of electrical load to nearly a third of the current maximum capacity of the grid over the next four years and exhausting the system, according to a report from edge.
“The more cryptocurrency is mined into the state, the more residents expect electricity prices to go up,” Eric Hettinger, a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, told the outlet.
Cryptocurrency market has crashed In recent months, the value has fallen from more than $3 trillion in November 2021 to less than $1 trillion.
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