US Congress investigates crypto energy consumption

Members of the US Congress are looking into bitcoin mining companies’ energy use.

This comes at a particularly sensitive point when legislators have been urging private companies to switch to greener sources of energy.

On Monday eight members of Congress sent letters to six companies that mine bitcoin in the US, asking them details of their energy use and practices.

Among the companies to receive the letter are Riot Blockchain, Bitdeer, Bitfury Group, Bit Digital, Stronghold Digital Mining and Marathon Digital Holdings.

They will have until February 10 to respond to the questions and begin a dialogue. The legislators want to gauge the impact that those companies’ operations have on the environment.

One of the letter signees is Elizabeth Warren, a known proponent of crypto regulation in the US.

“Given the extraordinarily high energy usage and carbon emissions associated with Bitcoin mining, mining operations raise concerns about their impacts on the global environment, local ecosystems, and consumer electricity costs”, the letter said.

The petitioners, who are all Democrats, asked companies about how much electricity is used, where it comes from and how those companies plan to scale up their presence in the US.

Environmentalists and lawmakers have become concerned about the impact bitcoin may have on the environment.

The second half of 2021 has been marked by pushback from lawmakers and environmental organizations as bitcoin popularity continued to climb.

Meanwhile, an exodus of bitcoin miners from China sent many companies packing and looking for new places. Places such as Miami, Florida, have welcomed bitcoin miners and companies.

New York also suggested that it would look to host more crypto mining companies, vying to be the “crypto capital” of the US.

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Updated: 02/01/2022 — 12:00