Recent White House Report Scrutinizes Crypto Mining Concerns
  • It revealed conflicting results about the link between crypto and the environment.
  • The department advised that the administration might outlaw proof of work.

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) and global warming have been the subject of a new report from the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

The agency’s research revealed conflicting results about the link between crypto and the environment. While it’s true that mining may improve grid reliability and spur renewable energy development, it also has the potential to increase “environmental justice issues” by contributing to GHG emissions and other harmful emissions.

Proof-of-Work in Target

Therefore, the department advised that the administration might outlaw proof of work as a consensus technique. Climate and Energy Implications of Crypto Assets in the United States is a report written in response to President Biden’s crypto executive order from March. For the sake of promoting responsible sector regulation, the president has ordered over 20 administrative officials and agency heads to submit study reports and suggestions on different crypto-related matters.

In particular, it claimed that Bitcoin and other blockchains that rely on a proof of work (PoW) consensus method use a “significant amount” of energy and add to localized issues of air, water, and noise pollution. Bitcoin and other large-cap POW networks are responsible for around 0.3% of yearly global greenhouse gas emissions.

The report concludes that intervention from the federal government is necessary. This is in order to promote widespread use and the ethical growth of digital assets. There is a need for federal, state, and industry partners to work together. This is in order to establish environmental performance criteria for the creation, usage, and maintenance of crypto-asset technology.

Incentives to upgrade the Bitcoin network to a Proof of Stake (POS) consensus method have been proposed. This was in the past by CFTC Chairman Rostin Benham. Moreover, Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple, donated $5 million to a transition fund in March.

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