Witnesses address energy impacts of crypto mining during House hearing

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Five industry experts who appeared for U.S. The House of Representatives’ subcommittee on energy and trade supervision had different views on how legislators should deal with the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies.

In a statement issued ahead of Thursday’s hearing on “Cryptocleaning: The Impact of Energy on Blockchain,” former currency controller Brian Brooks claimed that the energy consumption of bitcoin (BTC) mining is an “economic product” given other assets, including gold. about the same amount of energy for mining with «many other environmental issues». In addition, Brooks said that the traditional global banking system requires about 2.5 times more energy to produce the same value as BTC at current market value.

From an energy point of view, the miners and computers needed to operate a cryptocurrency are “not a waste of time” and can help promote renewable energy, said John Beliser, founder and CEO of Soluna Computing and another witness who attended the hearing. The CEO said that, unlike other banking systems, bitcoin mining includes the ability to shut down systems when needed, giving miners the ability to suck excess power from the grid instead of charging it.

Ari Jewells, a professor at the Cornell Institute of Technology who has often been critical of cryptocurrency mining as it exists today, supports the cryptocurrency field in general, but advocates “energy-saving alternatives” instead of “evidence of efficiency.” Work (PoW) related to mining. He added that moving the Ethereum blockchain to Proof of Stake (PoS) would likely consume “much less power” and would have features such as smart contracts and non-perishable tokens – unlike Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin is not like blockchain,” Jewels said. “The huge promise of blockchain technology does not require bitcoin or an energy-intensive component called proof of work.”

Steve Wright, the recently retired former general manager of Chelan County, Washington, suggested that miners should consider “mechanisms that provide incentives for producing cryptocurrencies to achieve effective results as soon as possible.” Wright noted that the high cost of clean energy in the region appears to be pushing many crypto-miners towards carbon-emitting energy sources, “at least in the short term.”

RELATED: Bitcoin Mining Gets More Robust: Mining Council Q4 Survey

U.S. lawmakers appear to be showing strong interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchains as space grows. In December, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on stack coins and how the United States could be in the race to adopt digital currencies. Brooks also testified at a House committee hearing that month about the role of digital assets in the finances of the future.

“While digital tokens are a highly speculative and volatile asset class, they also represent the promise of a more open and widespread Internet,” said Gregory Zerzan, a shareholder in the law firm Jordan Ramis. “If decision-makers take a cautious approach and encourage an innovative environment, the benefits to consumers, investors and all Americans are likely to be great.”

Source: CoinTelegraph

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