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The Latest White House Report Analyzes Crypto Mining Concerns

The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a new report which throws light on Distributed ledger technology (DLT) and global warming. The research conducted by the agency revealed inconsistent results when it came to the link between crypto and the environment. Although the improvement of grid reliability and the generation of renewable energy development through mining stands undisputed, there is also a potential increase in “environmental justice issues” that has to be considered. After all, mining contributes to GHG and other harmful emissions.

Proof-of-Work dilemma

The department, hence, advocated that the administration might outlaw proof of work as a consensus method. In response to President Biden’s crypto executive order from March, a report on Climate and Energy Implications of Crypto Assets in the US has been written. The president ordered more than 20 administrative officials and agency heads to turn in study reports and suggestions on various crypto-related matters in a bid to promote responsible sector regulation.

It notably claimed that Bitcoin and other blockchains that use the proof of work (PoW) consensus method channel a “significant amount” of energy and pile the already localized issues of air, water, and noise pollution.

The largest coin, bitcoin, and other such large-cap POW networks are responsible for nearly 0.3% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions.

The report finally throws light on the importance of federal intervention to promote widespread use and the ethical growth of digital assets. Federal, state, and industry partners must come together and work in tandem to maintain a better crypto ecosystem. This will establish environmental performance criteria for creating, using, and maintaining crypto-asset technology.

In order to upgrade the Bitcoin network to a Proof of Stake (POS) consensus method, incentives have been proposed.