Crypto mining: White House proposes new environmental strategy

A White House report found that crypto-asset technologies are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, noise and other local environmental problems. This complicates the US government’s efforts to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint, which is part of the US climate goals.

The White House Office of Science and Technology released the report in response to an executive order issued by President Joe Biden. With the regulation, Joe Biden wants to examine crypto’s challenges and opportunities for energy and climate problems in the United States.

Key recommendations from the investigative team include a collective strategy by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE) and other federal agencies with various states and crypto companies. Together, active, evidence-based environmental performance standards for the responsible design, development and use of environmentally friendly crypto-technologies can emerge:

“The government should consider executive action and Congress may consider legislation to limit or prohibit the use of energy-intensive consensus mechanisms for mining cryptoassets. The Department of Environment and Energy should provide technical support to state utilities, environmental protection agencies, and the crypto industry. This can collectively build capacity to minimize emissions, noise, negative water impacts and negative economic impacts of crypto-asset mining and mitigate the environmental inequities of overburdened communities.”

The White House wants to collect data from miners

Other key recommendations from the report include ensuring energy security and collecting data from miners and electricity suppliers of crypto-assets. This information is intended to remain confidential and allow federal agencies to assess the energy and climate impacts of cryptoassets.

The government wants to enable a clean energy future and protect people from pollution and climate change. That’s why the White House tasked the Environmental Protection Agency with revolutionizing the energy grid. According to the report, more than 100 million new power storage units will be connected to the grid by 2040. With this, the government wants to facilitate the transition of the energy-hungry country to 100% renewable energy.

The US is becoming a crypto hot spot

Since 2018, the demand for electrical energy from crypto assets has increased rapidly. according to estimates Global crypto power consumption doubled to quadruple from 2018 to August 2022. Furthermore, according to the report, cryptocurrencies consume a total of between 120 and 240 billion kilowatt hours per year. It refers to “an order of magnitude that exceeds the total annual electricity consumption of many individual countries such as Argentina or Australia”. In addition, the determined values ​​correspond 0.4 to 0.9% of annual global electricity consumption.

In the United States is estimated handles a third of global crypto transactions. These currently make up around 0.9% to 1.7% of the country’s total electricity consumption. This share of electricity consumption is comparable with any home computer or household lighting in the United States. Since 2020, the US share of international bitcoin mining has increased from 3.5% to 38% (measured by the number of transactions). The associated energy consumption has tripled since the beginning of 2021.


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