White House Wants Public Comments on Crypto’s Energy Use and Environmental Impact

The Office of Science and Technology Policy is crafting a report that will examine where crypto fits into the country’s climate goals.

AccessTimeIconMar 25, 2022 at 9:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 2, 2022 at 2:12 p.m. UTC
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The White House’s science and technology team is seeking public commentary on crypto's impact on energy use and the climate.

In his executive order on crypto issued earlier this month, President Joe Biden tasked the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) with preparing a report on the “potential for digital assets to impede or advance efforts to tackle climate change and the transition to a clean and reliable electricity grid,” according to a document published in the Federal Register on Friday.

The energy impact of crypto – particularly, of energy-intensive proof-of-work crypto mining – has become a flashpoint in recent years as lawmakers around the globe have floated proposals to ban proof-of-work mining, citing environmental concerns.

Industry proponents have pushed back against those concerns, claiming that the data used for crypto energy usage projections – some of which claim proof-of-work mining uses more energy than some industrialized nations each year – is unreliable or irrelevant.

Crypto and blockchain technology has also been proffered as a potential solution to environmental challenges, including carbon accounting and reducing emissions from gas flaring.

The OSTP’s forthcoming report represents one attempt to get to the bottom of crypto’s environmental impact.

Interested parties have until May 9 to share their thoughts with the White House.


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Cheyenne Ligon

Cheyenne Ligon was a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

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