The United States is taking action to make life difficult for cryptocurrency miners. A law on the polluting emissions reporting of cryptocurrency mining operations was recently reintroduced, with particular attention to activities that use more than five megawatts of electricity.
Last Friday, US Senator Edward Markey and Representative Jared Hoffman revealed their intention to reintroduce the Crypto Assets Environmental Transparency Act in Congress, with the goal once again promoting greater transparency regarding crypto mining and its environmental impact.
The draft was already submitted to Congress in December 2020, while Senator Jeff Merkley endorsed it in the Senate.
In practical terms, the bill aims to make the mining process in large cryptocurrency mining factories more transparent. Therefore, stricter measures will be implemented for plants consuming more than 5 megawatts of energy or “mining plants owned by the same company with an individual load of less than 5 megawatts, but a cumulative load greater than or equal to 5 megawatts.”
Emphasis on several fronts to ensure minimal environmental impact
The bill refers to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, which should coordinate various agencies to calculate the impact of cryptocurrency mining in the United States. For this purpose, the available budget is 5 million dollars, and the work will be ready within 18 months of the law being approved.
Senator Markey, who promoted the project, also cited in a press release 16 NGOs in favor of the new law, including Greenpeace USA, the Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch, and the National Stop Crypto Coalition. He mentioned that:
“As we work as a country to address a serious crisis in which the health and safety of our citizens are at risk, crypto miners are siphoning megawatt after megawatt from our public networks and emitting spiraling greenhouse gases, just to enrich themselves.”
Markey will soon chair the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Air Quality and Nuclear Safety. The meeting will focus on the urgent need to stem the growing environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining.
US entities’ grip on cryptocurrency
US crackdown on cryptocurrency intensifies. In addition to the new mining proposal, the entire cryptocurrency sector is under the radar of US lawmakers as a natural response to the bankruptcies of the past year.
In particular, the Securities and Exchange Commission at the beginning of February reached an agreement with the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, forcing it to stop offering staking software to US clients and pay a $30 million fine.
Legal action may also be on the horizon for Paxos, the US-registered company that issues the Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin. According to the SEC, BUSD can be treated as an unregistered stock.
On the other hand, Indian Government is receiving international acclaim especially from the International Monetary Fund and the United States. The nation expressed its willingness to coordinate international regulatory efforts on cryptocurrencies during the recent G20.
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