The U.S. Congress will hold a hearing on energy consumption and the environmental impact of bitcoin mining on January 20, its Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee announced Thursday.
The move was prompted by a letter sent to the House in October by a cohort of national and international climate organizations that opposed Bitcoin’s power consumption and its proof-of-work (PoW) system.
“We, the more than 70 climate, economic, racial justice, business and grassroots organizations, are writing to you today to urge Congress to take action to mitigate the significant contribution of cryptocurrency markets to climate change and resulting greenhouse gases (GHG), environmental impacts and climate justice it will have,” the letter read.
A rebuttal to the letter was published this week by the Bitcoin Policy Institute (BPI), an interdisciplinary cohort of economists, coders, lawyers, climatologists, philosophers, and policy analysts providing research, fact-checking Bitcoin facts and reviews.
The group claims in its fact-checking document that the letter sent to Congress contains numerous inaccuracies about the bitcoin mining industry, a gap that its policy work attempts to fill. The BPI, which will send its document to Congress, argues that the House should indeed consider Bitcoin’s energy consumption, but justifies a more cautious and fact-based approach.
“These considerations should be based on an accurate understanding of the Bitcoin protocol, a proper review of scientific literature, and up-to-date mining industry information,” the journal states. “Unfortunately, the coalition letter is not. Instead, it reiterates debunked myths about Bitcoin emissions, e-waste, and energy markets. Our goal is to clear the case and ensure that the political discussion around Bitcoin is based on science and facts.
Some of the misconceptions and myths clarified by the document relate to climate change, e-waste, and the common but misleading comparisons between Bitcoin’s energy consumption and that of countries like Argentina and Norway. The BPI also takes issue with the organizations’ claims that Bitcoin’s use of power is “useless,” an argument that ignores the fact that BTC is legal tender in El Salvador and the many people currently leveraging the money. peer to peer. network to enjoy financial freedom.