In an attempt to get a better understanding of the potential environmental implications of blockchain technology, members of the US House of Representatives have requested information from four different cryptocurrency mining businesses.
On August 17, the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives sent letters to Core Scientific, Marathon Digital Holdings, Riot Blockchain, Inc., and Stronghold Digital Mining. The implications of proof of work are being investigated by the committee, namely how it pertains to emissions and “excess electronic waste.”
The action comes as officials in Washington are taking a closer look at cryptocurrencies in the midst of the market crisis that occurred during the summer. Additionally, the proof-of-work blockchain of Ethereum is anticipated to be merged with the proof-of-stake chain of Ethereum within the next month.
The committee head, Representative Frank Pallone Jr., as well as Representatives Bobby Rush, Diana DeGette, and Paul Tonko, all put their signatures on the letter.
The committee asked for information about the amount of energy that mining facilities operated by each firm used in 2021, the types of energy sources that were utilised by the facilities, and the percentage of energy consumption that was compensated for by renewable energy credits. Legislators also inquired about the number of days that cryptocurrency mining operations were halted by corporations to maintain grid stability throughout the course of the preceding year, in addition to the average cost per megawatt hour and the profit per megawatt hour generated at each plant.
Another set of lawmakers made their voices heard to the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month, urging them to force miners to publish information about their energy consumption and emissions.