The environmental organizations Earthjustice and Sierra Club (collectively, “Earthjustice”) announced they have published a guidebook titled:
The Energy Bomb: How Proof-of-Work Cryptocurrency Mining Worsens the Climate Crisis and Harms Communities Now (“Guidebook”)
Earthjustice describes the Guidebook as a comprehensive report on what it describes as the opaque and little-regulated cryptocurrency mining industry along with its effects on:
- Local communities
- Public health
The September 2022 Guidebook is authored by:
Deputy Managing Attorney
Clean Energy Program
Senior Advisor for Strategic Research and Development
Environmental Law Program
Climate & Energy Senior Program Associate
Environmental law Program
A recent Arkansas Business article indicated that two to three cryptocurrency mining facilities are scheduled to be constructed in Arkansas.
Crypto-assets are generally denominated as digital assets implemented using cryptographic techniques. Cryptocurrencies are obtained through the use of intensive computing. The proof of work cryptocurrency mining (i.e., the methodology of mining and transaction validation) can require a significant amount of computer capacity at an individual facility to solve the arbitrary and complex mathematical problems that create additional currency.
Of course, as a technological innovation, the development of digital assets has provided benefits in value for both United States residents and businesses.
Prior to the issuance of the Earthjustice Guidebook both the White House and Congress have addressed the potential climate and energy implications of crypto-assets in a September 2022 Fact Sheet and an August 2022 letter posing certain questions transmitted to an industry participant by the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce, respectively.
Chapters in the Earthjustice Guidebook include:
- Cryptocurrency Mining’s Explosive Growth in the United States
- Proof-of-Work Cryptocurrency: A Brief Introduction
- No Longer a Hobbyist’s Experiment: How Cryptocurrency
- Mining Transformed Into Massive, Centralized Operations to Maximize Profits
- The Scale and Source of Bitcoin Energy Usage is Largely Invisible to Regulators
- Where Do The Electrons Come From?
- The Climate and Energy Impacts of Cryptocurrency Mining in the United States are Substantial
- Cryptocurrency Mining Harms Communities and Electricity Ratepayers
- Breaking Through the Bitcoin Myths
- Recommendations to Mitigate the Risks of Proof-of-Work Cryptocurrency Mining
A link to the Guidebook can be found here.