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White House Pushes for Greener Crypto Mining in Latest Report

2 mins
Updated by Martin Robaldo
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In Brief

  • Crypto mining contributing to US climate impact
  • White House recommends crypto miners to use renewable energy sources
  • Mining operations encouraged to build facilities to generate some or all of their own electricity
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A White House report has revealed that crypto-asset technologies are overwhelmingly contributing to Green House Gas emissions, pollution, noise other local impacts which has hindered the federal agency’s efforts to achieve net-zero carbon pollution consistent with U.S. climate commitments and goals.
The White House Office of Science and Technology in the report was responding to President Joe’s Biden’s executive order questioning the challenges and opportunities of crypto assets for energy and climate change issues in the United States.
Key Among the recommendations made by the team is for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Energy (DOE), and other federal agencies to initiate a collective procedure with different states and the crypto firms to grow active, evidence-based environmental performance standards for the responsible design, development, and use of environmentally responsible crypto-asset technologies.
“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. DOE and EPA should provide technical assistance to state public utility commissions, environmental protection agencies, and the crypto asset industry to build capacity to minimize emissions, noise, water impacts, and negative economic impacts of crypto-asset mining; and to mitigate environmental injustices to overburdened communities.” The White House report read in part.

White House recommends collection of Personal Information for Crypto-Assets miners

Other key recommendations made in the report is to ensure energy reliability, obtain personal information of crypto-asset miners and electric utilities that will remain confidential to enable the feds assess the energy and climate implications of crypto assets.
Despite the crypto community arguing that crypto mining is excellent for the environment, the White House’s report says more than 100 million new storage devices will be connected to the grid by 2040 something that will milk the energy hungry country transitioning to using 100% renewable energy. They have tasked the Environmental protection agency to revolutionize the energy grid that will enable a clean energy future and protect communities from pollution and climate change because of the industry’s outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

Crypto assets affect the US electricity grid

From 2018 to 2022, electricity from global crypto assets grew fast, with estimates of electricity usage doubling to quadrupling by August 2022. The report has flagged between 120 and 240 billion kilowatt-hours per year, “a range that exceeds the total annual electricity usage of many individual countries, such as Argentina or Australia”. This is equivalent to 0.4% to 0.9% of annual global electricity usage.
The United States is estimated to host about a third of global crypto-asset operations, which currently consume about 0.9% to 1.7% of total U.S. electricity usage. This range of electricity usage is like all home computers or all residential lighting in the United States. The U.S. share of global mining from Bitcoin, the largest crypto-asset, rose from 3.5% in 2020 to 38% today, with U.S. electricity usage for crypto-asset mining, while still relatively small, tripling since January 2021.

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Remmy Bahati
Remmy Bahati, is a crypto and technology reporter. She is on Twitter @BahatiRemmy. She has a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University in New York City. A television producer, video editor and writer, she has contributed to CNN, Columbia News Service, New York Times digital, NBS TV, TRT World, BBC, Huffington Post and Citizen TV.