UNITES STATES - The U.S. said the carbon footprint of the cryptocurrency industry does not align with the country’s goals to decarbonize the economy, suggesting it may rein in the operations of crypto miners, according to a report released Thursday by the Office of Science and Technology in the White House.
Cryptocurrency has long attracted controversy for the large amounts of electricity consumed by computers used to verify transactions on proof-of-work (PoW) blockchains such as Bitcoin, with critics saying this encourages increased burning of fossil fuels and additional carbon emissions.
The report out of the White House, which is the result of an executive order signed in March by President Joe Biden titled “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” adds a further official voice to this debate.
The report says miners need to consult with the Environmental Protection Agency and other bodies on how to reduce emissions.
It adds that the government will promote the use of more “environmentally responsible crypto-asset technologies” and will collect more data on industry power requirements.
“Should these measures prove ineffective at reducing impacts, the Administration should explore executive actions, and Congress might consider legislation, to limit or eliminate the use of high energy intensity consensus mechanisms for crypto-asset mining,” the report said.
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