US Congress to Hold Oversight Hearing on Crypto Mining: Report

Lawmakers will look at mining’s effect on the environment.

Jan 6, 2022 at 6:43 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 6, 2022 at 10:27 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Congress is preparing an hearing to examine the environmental impact of crypto mining, especially on the Bitcoin network, according to a report from The Block.

  • The date and witness list for the hearing are still undetermined, but it could take place as early as the end of January, The Block reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
  • The Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is drawing up a list of witnesses. They will be questioned about the energy use of proof-of-work mining, the type of mining used for bitcoin, according to the report.
  • In 2021, as bitcoin’s carbon footprint was taking up headlines, U.S. companies continued to pour millions of dollars into bitcoin mining infrastructure. Chinese miners fleeing a regulatory crackdown also made investments in the U.S., which is now the world’s largest bitcoin miner. Mining firms plan to continue expanding their capacity over the next year.
  • In December, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter to New York-based miner Greenidge’s CEO, expressing concerns about the firm’s environmental impact. That was followed by a New York Times article that relayed concerns surrounding the increased mining in the state.
  • These “recent events in New York state” have raised the alarm over crypto mining with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a person involved in pre-hearing discussions with the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee told The Block.

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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.