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Cryptominers defend gigawatt-scale energy usage called out by Congress


Citing “disturbing” levels of power used by cryptocurrency miners, a group of Democrats led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren is urging the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to crack down on the controversial industry.
The letter, signed by four senators and two representatives, calls on regulators to compel cryptominers to disclose their carbon emissions and energy use. Environmentalists have long raised concerns about Bitcoin and other power-hungry, proof-of-stake tokens — and globally, cryptocurrencies are estimated to consume more energy than entire countries, such as Venezuela and Finland.
In the U.S., just seven firms have built more than 1.045 gigawatts of capacity for cryptomining purposes, the report states. “This is enough capacity to power all the residences in Houston, Texas.” The mining farms highlighted in the report are run by Stronghold, Greenidge, Bit Digital, Bitfury, Bitdeer, Marathon and Riot.
Though the crypto winter of 2022 might incentivize some miners to scale back operations, the lawmakers argue the industry at large is poised to grow rapidly and “is likely to be problematic for energy and emissions.” …

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