Robert Steinadler, 9 months ago

White House report demands green mining or proposes a ban

It was in March when president Joe Biden issued an executive order that revealed that the US government would pay close attention to the crypto industry. The first step of the plan has been executed, and yesterday the White House published a report with the title “Climate and energy implications of crypto-assets in the United States”.

What is the US government expecting from the future of the crypto industry and what is the stance on the ecological impact of mining?

US mining industry has grown

China banned mining last year in May, causing a crash in the crypto market and an exodus of the once predominantly Chinese mining industry. The global share of the US mining industry rose from around 3 % up to 38 % this year.

With cheap energy available across the US, mining could make a change and even improve the overall situation and help to reach climate goals. As a report from Arcane Research shows, the mining industry can make use of energy that would otherwise go to waste. This includes the created surplus of green energy that would otherwise be sold at a negative price, or using gas that is a byproduct of oil production that would otherwise be burned.

But while several reports that originate from companies invested in the crypto space paint a picture of a bright future, it seems that the US government is putting these claims to the test. The US will monitor closely if the mining industry is aligning well with the agenda of fulfilling the US climate objectives. Should the government come to the conclusion that mining is a threat to these goals, a ban could be the result.

Bitcoin is under attack

The major problem is that all these demands are completely rational and are necessary to be dealt with, but it also puts Bitcoin under unnecessary pressure. While the Bitcoin industry is already working on a reasonable approach to climate change and its own role, the whole debate is instrumentalized to argue against Bitcoin.

These attacks originate not outside the crypto space, but often come from within. Rather than supporting each other, some proponents of crypto argue that Bitcoin should opt for proof of stake or be banned all along. Needless to say, most of these voices follow their own agenda in supporting Ethereum, XRP or other cryptocurrencies.

It is true that parts of the Bitcoin community have been hostile to other projects in the past, but going against the market leading cryptocurrency is not fostering the strength of the industry nor is it a good response to Bitcoin maximalists. In fact, this specific group of people is validated by the hostilities since it confirms their views on any other crypto project other than Bitcoin. Critics should treat carefully, because all of the talking points and the political agenda that is brought against Bitcoin could easily be turned against them at a later point in time if this strategy proves to be successful. Regulation and monitoring of blockchains is an attack vector that all cryptos share. Therefore, it is only wise to stand united rather than being divided over a single debate.

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