Some of the strongest Bitcoin supporters including Block CEO Jack Dorsey, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, Galaxy Digital CEO Michael Novogratz, and FundStrat Global Advisors Co-founder Thomas Lee banded together to rebut the claims by House Democrats who called for an investigation into crypto mining facilities.
On April 21, Cong. Jared Huffman (D-California) along with 22 House lawmakers told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that they are very concerned about the environmental impacts of crypto mining facilities.
House Democrats are concerned crypto mining facilities are polluting communities
In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Cong. Huffman and his colleagues wrote, “We have serious concerns regarding reports that cryptocurrency facilities across the country are polluting communities and are having an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.”
The House Democrats requested the EPA to examine if “Proof-of-Work” mining facilities are in compliance with environmental laws including the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. They also asked the federal regulator to investigate if crypto mining facilities are causing any harm to communities and it must resolve the problem.
Cong. Huffman and his colleagues noted the estimates by researchers that Bitcoin mining produces approximately 30,700 tons of electronic waste annually.
“As cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity and demand more mining, we must ensure communities are not left with the toxic burdens associated with this technology,” the lawmakers wrote.
Bitcoin Backers’ rebuttal against House Democrats
In a rebuttal letter sent to EPA Administrator Regan, Bitcoin supporters argued that Cong. Huffman and his colleagues were wrong. According to them, the lawmakers’ claims were based on “several misperceptions about Bitcoin and digital asset mining that have previously been debunked.”
Bitcoin backers stated that the lawmakers conflate datacenters with power generation facilities. They explained that datacenters containing “miners” are similar to those owned by tech giants Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft. A miner is a crypto industry term for a specialized computer server operating inside datacenters.
Datacenters engaged in industrial-scale crypto mining do not emit carbon dioxide (CO₂) or any other pollutants. Crypto miners buy and use electricity from power generation facilities that emit CO2.
“Datacenters…are merely server farms engaged in computation. Aside from logistics packaging, there are no effluents or sources of waste that must be disposed [of] on-site. The inputs to a data center engaged in digital asset mining are electricity and mining computers, and the outputs are units of digital assets that exist on distributed ledgers around the world,” according to the Bitcoin backers.
Bitcoin backers pointed out that crypto mining does not cause pollution. CO2 emissions are associated with electricity generation. In reality, the majority of crypto miners are “migrating away from fossil-based electricity generation and increasingly targeting renewable resources…”
They concluded their rebuttal letter by stating that public officials clearly need the education to ensure that they understand that the cryptocurrency mining industry does not contribute to the environmental problems raised by House Democrats.
“It is imperative that elected officials in the United States recognize that bitcoin, and the innovation of Proof of Work, is the most important financial, economic, and accounting innovation in the history of humanity,” according to Bitcoin backers.
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