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EPA Investigation Targeting Crypto Mining To Get A Renewal From US Legislators

BTC Mining
BTC Mining

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The Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act in Congress will be reintroduced ahead of the Senate hearing on the environmental impact of crypto mining on March 7. United States Senator Edward Markey will be chairing the hearing, along with his representative Jared Huffman announced the reintroduction of the act on March 3.

US Senator Edward Markey To Renew Investigation of Mining Emissions

The bill was first introduced in December by Markey and Huffman, while Senator Jeff Merkley co-sponsored it in the Senate. Mining companies that consume more than 5 megawatts of power for their operation are required to report their emissions according to the bill. It had also demanded the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head an investigation on the impact of crypto in the States. This investigation was given 18 months to publish their findings, with a $5 million budget.

A total of 16 organizations supported the bill, according to the names listed in the bill. Some of these public organizations included National Stop Crypto Coalition, Public Citizen, Change the Code Campaign, Natural Resources Defense Council, Mon Valley Clean Air Coalition, Seneca Lake Guardian and Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes.

Findings and What They Had to Say About It


Justifying his position on the bill, Senator Markey said in a statement “The crypto industry is growing, and so is a plume of pollution around their mining facilities,” “While we’re working together as a nation to face down an existential crisis that puts the health and safety of our people and our planet in jeopardy, crypto miners are sucking megawatt after megawatt from our public grids and emitting skyrocketing greenhouse gasses, just so they can make a buck for themselves. We can’t afford to let this industry run roughshod over our communities any longer.”

His representative, Jared Huffman, further added that “As we look to slow the effects of climate change, it makes no sense to continue ignoring crypto mining’s skyrocketing energy demands and planet-polluting emissions,”

“Granting this industry impunity to run rampant is a risk to the health and safety of our communities and planet, and we need to understand the full harm this industry presents. It’s past time for serious government oversight and regulation of these cryptocurrency schemes.”

The Subcommittee of Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, will soon hold a meeting that will be chaired by Markey. The meeting will be focusing on urgently negating the environmental impact of crypto mining. Markey and Huffman asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “work together to address the lack of information about crypto mining’s energy use and environmental impacts.” in February.

Can Proof Of Stake Help Bitcoin Become Energy Efficient

Bitcoin mining accounted for 60-70% of cryptocurrency mining as of September 2021. Although, the number tends to vary depending on the market conditions. This accounts for a huge percentage of the overall cryptocurrency mining, partly because Bitcoin’s use of Proof-Of-Work requires a lot of energy for operation.


More often than not, Bitcoin has been a hot topic for debate, for its energy consumption. And pretty much a face for the criticism revolving around massive energy usage by cryptocurrencies. According to critics, the Proof-Of-Work algorithm of Bitcoin, utilized by miners to authenticate transactions on the blockchain, consumes an excessive amount of energy and is a substantial contributor to carbon emissions.

In comparison, the Ethereum Proof-Of-Stake consensus mechanism is much more effective, consuming over 99.9% less energy than that Bitcoin. Critics have argued that the transfer of bitcoin to Proof-of-Stake would massively cut the energy consumption of Bitcoin, effectively reducing the overall energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining.

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization,  switched to the Proof-Of-Stake in September 2022. And the event was referred to as “The Merge”, which has been in progress for years.

Since the transition, Ethereum has improved a lot in scalability and security and more importantly has become more energy efficient. In fact, the total energy consumption of the network dropped by a whopping 99.95% post-merge.

With the success of Ethereum, the cryptocurrency community has constantly questioned whether Bitcoin could make a similar transition. Well, a transition would really help bitcoin become more energy efficient. It would require massive changes to bitcoin’s underlying architecture, making it a compromise on security and decentralization.

BTC Proof of Stake

Another benefit of Bitcoin shifting to Proof-of-Stake is that it can improve the network’s scalability. The current system used by the network has a limited capacity for transactions, which causes slow processing and high transaction fees. A transition would make bitcoin faster and cheaper.

Plus, a transition would improve the security of the bitcoin network, since the network is vulnerable to 51% attacks under PoW. But switching to PoS will make it much less vulnerable to any type of attack. And while Proof of stake is more efficient but risks centralization and security. Proof of work ensures decentralization by having miners compete to validate transactions by solving mathematical problems.

The transition to proof of stake requires significant infrastructure changes, and it’s unclear whether the Bitcoin community is willing to make the switch. Hybrid systems, on the other hand, may offer a balance between energy consumption and decentralization, but their acceptance is uncertain.

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