This week's planned hearing on crypto mining in the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce has already raised concerns in the cryptocurrency community as a pre-published memo revealed what some viewed as "basic errors" in legislators' comprehension of the field.
The hearing, titled Cleaning Up Cryptocurrency: The Energy Impacts of Blockchains, will focus on “the energy and environmental impacts” of crypto mining. Specifically, issues relating to proof-of-work (PoW) blockchains like Bitcoin (BTC) and, Ethereum (ETH), which the memo said “requires enormous amounts of energy,” is expected to be addressed. In its introduction, the memo said:
“One analysis indicates that the energy required to validate just one ETH transaction today could power a U.S. home for more than a week, while the energy required for a BTC transaction could power a home for more than 70 days."
The memo went on to explain that replacements for PoW, such as proof-of-stake (PoS), exist, and that these options “demonstrate that exponential energy consumption is not necessary for cryptocurrencies to function.”
According to the pre-published note, Jake Chervinsky, a prominent crypto lawyer and Head of Policy at the Blockchain Association, stated that it wasn't all bad, but that it contains “basic errors,” including “repeating the fallacy of ‘per transaction’ carbon emissions.”
Meanwhile, Brian Brooks, the CEO of major blockchain technology firm Bitfury and a former Comptroller of the Currency in the United States who will be attending the hearing, intends to emphasize “the positive renewable energy incentives of Bitcoin.”
Brooks added that PoW's role in trustless networks and network security, as well as Bitfury's work to decrease energy consumption in crypto mining, would all be discussed during his speech.
Finally, Sam Callahan, an analyst at BTC broker Swan Bitcoin, remarked that the hearing's memo appeared to be more of an event to promote the usage of Ethereum, which is considering PoS switchover, rather than an honest discussion about crypto mining.
“Sounds like anti-PoWers trying to push ETH. I’m glad Brian Brooks is going to be there,” Callahan wrote.
The hearing will be streamed live, and is scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 20 at 10:30 EST (15:30 UTC).