The United States Government has scheduled a hearing to discuss about the environmental impact of crypto mining and blockchain technology.
The Energy and Commerce division of the United States of America is all set to explore the implications of the energy consumption incurred by cryptocurrency mining operations as well as the blockchain networks.
US Government Discuss Cryptocurrency
As per reports, the hearing, that is scheduled on January 20th, is called, “Cleaning Up Cryptocurrency: The Energy Impacts of Blockchains.” The Subommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a public proceeding to learn more about the energy consumption of blockchains and the repercussions of such electrical waste and carbon footprint generated by cryptocurrency mining. The public hearing will be held as a hybrid meeting that will include both in-person and remote attendance.
Blockchain technology has garnered huge traction since the inception of Bitcoin, the first decentralized peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. Today its use, is not just limited to digital currencies but revolutionizing how information is stored and processed in shared databases. Many sectors are looking for ways to integrate blockchain into their infrastructures where they are protected from deletion, tampering, and revision.
Is Crypto Mining A Environmental Hazard?
Some public blockchain networks consume a lot of energy to be operational. These networks use the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm that relies heavily on the miners to compute and add blocks to these chains. These miners are then incentivized to solve complex mathematical problems that uses high energy consumption. Every time the ledger is updated with a new transaction, the miners need to solve the problems which means spending a lot of energy.
Cryptocurrencies are mined by high-powered computers in an energy-intensive process. This process, in most cases, often relies on fossil fuels, particularly coal. For example Bitcoin has gone through a lot of ups and downs in its short existence of just 13 years; however, one of the most recent efforts to discredit this technology is predicated on the fact that it is energy-intensive. To put things in perspective, Deutsche Bank analysts estimated that if Bitcoin was a country, it would use about the same amount of electricity a year as Ukraine. According to Digiconomist, Ethereum is said to generate a carbon footprint comparable to the annual values of Myanmar.
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