The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will start collecting data on the electricity consumption of American cryptocurrency farms, following criticism from environmental advocates about the high energy consumption of this activity.
The EIA, the statistical agency of the Department of Energy, announced that it is “initiating a provisional survey of information on the electricity consumption of identified cryptocurrency mining companies” starting next week.
Cryptocurrency mining companies will have to comply with an “emergency data collection request,” authorized by the Office of Management and Budget last week.
A necessary change to regulate excessive consumption
Reaching this point has been difficult. After the ban on Bitcoin mining in China in 2021, the United States became the world’s largest center for Bitcoin mining. The mining boom raised concerns for lawmakers and activists due to the energy demands of the process.
Bitcoin mines have managed to revive fossil fuel power plants and increase electricity costs in cities.
In 2022, Democratic lawmakers asked the largest cryptocurrency mining companies in the United States to disclose their electricity consumption and associated pollution.
None of the companies provided all the requested data, and Congress subsequently requested that the DOE and EPA require crypto companies to publicly share the information.
Now, cryptocurrency farms and mines will have to accept the decision and start being more responsible in their energy consumption. That or face fines and possible closures.
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