More than 60 nonprofits urge Congress to consider crypto mining’s environmental damage when making rules

More than 65 nonprofit organizations are collectively urging the U.S. Congress to consider crypto mining’s environmental damage when drafting new laws. 

“As Congress contemplates legislation for cryptocurrencies, we urge you to consider the impacts that Proof of Work mining is having on the climate, clean water, and environmental justice,” the organizations, which include, Friends of the Earth U.S., and Small Business Alliance, among others, wrote in a letter Thursday. The letter was first published by the New York Times. 

“Proof of work” refers to a mechanism in blockchains where miners solve mathematical puzzles to add new blocks. As the process uses extensive computational power and electricity, the type of crypto mining has been long criticized for its environmental costs. 

The mechanism is in contrast with proof of stake, which is said to be more environmental-friendly, as holders could validate the transactions by staking or locking up their cryptocurrencies. 

The largest two cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ether are currently using proof-of-work blockchains. Though ethererum is in a transition from proof of work to proof of stake, critics remain skeptical. “It is unclear when, if ever, this change will occur,” the letter wrote. 

Some of the crypto industry participants have been arguing that the industry has been using renewable energy and adapting to address environmental concerns.

Bitcoin Mining Council said that miners were using electricity with a 67% sustainable power mix, based on a survey from miners that power over 32%  of the global Bitcoin network, according to a July statement.

What else is going on about crypto?
  • Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of crypto exchange FTX, is one of the youngest people in history ever made into Forbes 400, which ranks the richest 400 Americans. Except for Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook
    no one in history has been this rich at 29, according to Forbes. Bankman-Fried, who benefited from the crypto boom, has a net worth of $22.5 billion.

  • Why do people invest in cryptocurrency?  One popular narrative is that the choice stems from distrust of fiat currencies and existing financial institutions, such as banks, clearinghouses and exchanges. However, a new study shows that cryptocurrency investors show no differences in the level of concerns about the security of mainstream payment options, such as cash or commercial bank services, according to a report published by think tank Center for Economic and Policy Research on Wednesday.

  • Bitcoin BTCUSD is taking a breather from yesterday’s rally, recently trading at $54,024, down 1.14% over the past 24 hours. Ether ETHUSD is recently trading at $3,577, up 0.86% for the past 24 hours.

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