It is offically on the calender. On January 20th, or in one week, the Energy and Comerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representitives will be holding a hearing about the energy use of digital crypto mining. What makes this hearing unique is that it will focus on only the energy and thus the enviromental impacts of cryptocurrencies on the world. This hearing will not be focusing on any sort of regulation or laws to better define and handle cryptocurreny.
This hearing is also more of a fact finding mission rather then one where legislation is going to be brought forward and debated. The Chairman of the Committee Rep. Frank Pallone and head of the oversight panel Rep. Diana DeGette issued a statement saying it is time for Congress to understand the energy and thus the enviromental impacts that cryptocurrency mining has. It will be interesting to see how the witnesses will handle or answer these questions. If the offical title of the hearing is any indication of the attitude the witness could face it might not be too good of a time for them. The offical title of the hearing is "Cleaning up Cryptocurrency: The Energy Impacts of Blockchains" which at least to me does not give off a super positive vibe.
We all know that cryptocurrency mining is an energy intensive process and that it historically has a bad rep due to cheap Chinese coal powered mining. Strides have been made to address this however it is not known if that will be enough in the eyes of the Democrate controlled Congress. With the Build Back Better Bill getting shelved for the time being Democrates are going to need to find a new enviromental topic to focus on and it could be that the Democrates are going to target this.
Since the witness list has not been published yet it is not known who will be testifying before the committee. It would be great to see a representitive from Tezos to be there to explain PoS blockchains to Congress but I am not sure that will be happening. I would assume that this hearing is going to heavily focus on Bitcoin since it is not only the largest crypto but also the one everyone mentions when they discuss energy consumption. Ethereum could be discussed however since it is moving from PoW to PoS I could see the members avoiding this topic entirely.
I will be sure to follow this for any developments that transpire and if anything comes out of the blue or catches me off guard. Otherwise I will be writing my followup to how this hearing went in a week assuming the hearing is like most others and is only an hour or so long.
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