June 22, 2024


It's the Technology

mining rigs

U.S. considering bill to require crypto miners to report carbon emissions

U.S. cryptocurrency miners would be required to report greenhouse gas emissions under a new bill submitted to the Senate, reflecting criticism among some lawmakers that the large amount of electricity used to verify transactions on proof-of-work blockchains such as Bitcoin is adding to use of fossil fuels blamed for global warming.

See related article: US raises red flag on crypto mining with concerns over carbon emissions

Fast facts

  • U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey and Representative Jared Huffman said in a Thursday statement that they have submitted the Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act that would require crypto mining operations that consume more than 5 megawatts of power — or most Bitcoin mining projects — to report their carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Senator Jeff Merkley cosponsored the proposed legislation.
  • The lawmakers said Bitcoin miners use as much as 1.4% of U.S. electricity, citing an August report from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that says this is equivalent to the power needed to light every home in the country.
  • The bill would also direct the Environmental Protection Agency to lead an interagency study of the environmental impact of crypto mining.
  • Crypto miners countered the criticism of fossil fuel use in an October report published by lobby group Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) that said the miners had an estimated 59.4% sustainable energy mix in the third quarter of this year, up from the first quarter’s 58.4%.
  • In May, the BMC said in a letter, signed by MicroStrategy Chairman Michael Saylor, that data centers with miners are “no different” than the ones hosted or operated by Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta and Microsoft.

See related article: Bitcoin mining difficulty drops more than 7% as cash crunch hits miners