White House Report Recommends Banning Bitcoin Mining to Slash GHG Emissions

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has released a report examining the connection between distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and climate change. 

The office determined that crypto’s relationship with the environment is a mixed bag. While acknowledging the positive impact that mining can have on grid stability and renewable development, it can also exacerbate “environmental justice issues” due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other factors. 

As such, the office suggested that the administration may have to consider banning the use of proof of work as a consensus mechanism.

Crypto: An Environmental Threat?

The report – titled “Climate and Energy Implications of Crypto Assets in the United States” – is a response to President Biden’s crypto executive order in March. The president directed over 20 administrative figures and agency heads to submit research reports and recommendations on various crypto-related topics to help foster responsible industry regulation. 

“Crypto-assets could hinder broader efforts to achieve net-zero carbon pollution consistent with U.S. climate commitments and goals,” stated the OSTP in the report. 

In particular, it stated that blockchains using a proof of work (POW) consensus mechanism – especially Bitcoin – use a “significant amount” of electricity and contribute to air, water, and noise pollution in some areas. In total, Bitcoin and other large-cap POW networks result in 0.3% of global annual GHG emissions. 

As such, the report suggests that federal government action is required to ensure the broad adoption and responsible development of digital assets. One recommendation is that federal agencies collaborate with states and the crypto industry to develop environmental performance standards for the use and development of crypto-asset technologies. 

These standards would target low energy usage, low water usage, low noise generation, and clean energy use by mining operators. However, should these methods prove ineffective, the OSTP suggested using executive or congressional action. 

“Congress might consider legislation, to limit or eliminate the use of high energy intensity consensus mechanisms for crypto-asset mining.” it read. 

Is Proof of Stake the Answer?

CFTC Chairman Rostin Benham has previously suggested creating incentives to transition the Bitcoin network to a Proof of Stake (POS) consensus mechanism. In March, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen funded a $5 million campaign to empower the transition. 

However, Bitcoiners have long opposed such a change, claiming that POW is needed to maintain a sufficiently decentralized network. 

Ethereum disagrees, however. The network is set to undergo a similar transition next week, which is expected to reduce network energy consumption by 99.5%. 

The post White House Report Recommends Banning Bitcoin Mining to Slash GHG Emissions appeared first on CryptoPotato.

Related Posts

Coinbase expands to Australia with focus on institutions in ‘months to come’

With an expanded Australian offering, Coinbase’s VP of international and business development said the exchange faced “tough questions” from regulators and policymakers about its services. United States-based…

Musk’s deal for Twitter looks set to go with original $44B price tag

Twitter appears ready to move forward with the deal for Elon Musk to buy Twitter, announcing in an Oct. 4 post they intend to close the transaction…

‘New frontier’ of crypto laundering involves cross-chain bridges and DEXs: Elliptic

Curve, Uniswap, 1inch, and the Ren bridge were the top platforms of choice for laundering illicit crypto, according to Elliptic. New research from blockchain analytics and crypto…

Bitwise launches Web3 ETF for institutional and retail investors

The ETF tracks the Bitwise Web3 Equities Index, with over 85% exposure to companies in Web3. Bitwise Asset Management announced on Oct. 3 a new exchange-traded fund…

Billionaire Hedge Fund Founder Ray Dalio Steps Down as Co-CIO of Bridgewater Associates

Billionaire hedge fund founder Ray Dalio has stepped down as chief executive of Bridgewater Associates, according to a transfer of voting rights on September 30. Bridgewater’s co-chief…

Oryen (ORY) Huge Opportunity To Become Bigger Than Elrond (EGLD), Quant (QNT), And OKB (OKB)

The cryptocurrency market is heating up and Oryen (ORY) is positioning itself as a significant player. The project has a lot of potential to become bigger than…

Generated by Feedzy