BitcoinBTC and crypto have surged back after a devastating price crash (with Shark Tank billionaire Mark Cuban revealing the two bitcoin rivals he’s now betting on).
The bitcoin price has topped $43,000 per bitcoin, up around 200% from its recent lows of $15,000, as a Wall Street legend declares the U.S. dollar is “finished.”
Now, as the bitcoin mining industry hurtles toward a $3.3 trillion earthquake, U.S. president Joe Biden’s administration has issued an “emergency collection of data request” to those that secure the bitcoin network—fanning the flames of a battle some see as bitcoin against the U.S. dollar.
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The Biden government this week signed off an emergency probe into how much power bitcoin and crypto miners are using, with the Energy Information Administration (EIA) set to begin the urgent collection of data this coming week.
Bitcoin miners, who use high-powered computers to verify transactions and maintain bitcoin’s blockchain in return for newly minted coins, will be required to respond with their energy use details, as part of an emergency data collection request authorized by the Office of Management and Budget on January 26.
“We intend to continue to analyze and write about the energy implications of cryptocurrency mining activities in the United States,” EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis said in a statement. “We will specifically focus on how the energy demand for cryptocurrency mining is evolving, identify geographic areas of high growth, and quantify the sources of electricity used to meet cryptocurrency mining demand.”
The EIA pointed to the possibility of “public harm” from bitcoin and mining for the need to collect the data. The bitcoin mining industry has been criticized for its eye-watering energy usage, which studies have found could be as much each year as some small countries.
“Recognizing that this emergency collection is experimental and provisional with the understood intention that EIA wants to build to a new standard collection,” the OMB wrote in its approval.
The emergency survey has sparked fears among the bitcoin and crypto community that long-held fears of a broad government crackdown on the bitcoin mining industry could be beginning. Last year, Florida governor and former U.S. presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis warned the Biden administration has “it out for bitcoin” and could end up “killing it” completely.
“[The] EIA’s latest move to mandate bitcoin mining firms to disclose their energy usage is a direct targeting of the digital asset sector,” the Texas Blockchain Council posted.
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“Biden has declared a Federal ’emergency’ because bitcoin is winning,” Pierre Rochard, head of research at Colorado-based bitcoin miner Riot Platforms, posted to X, adding: “the $3 trillion deficit, $34 trillion debt, and insolvent fiat banking system” could be considered an “emergency.”
The huge increase in the supply of U.S. dollars and U.S. debt through the Covid pandemic and lockdowns has galvanized bitcoin supporters who fear the collapse of the U.S. dollar is imminent.
“Over the last ten years, all fiat has declined against the dollar, even as the dollar has collapsed against bitcoin,” tech investor and former CoinbaseCOIN chief technology investor Balaji Srinivasan posted to X.
“Biden vs Trump is the American election. Bitcoin vs dollar is the internet election. Which is truly more important? The election doesn’t matter as much if they lose the printer. Just one or two more orders of magnitude, and that will be clear.”
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