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The White House: Climate and Energy Implications of Crypto-Assets in the United States

On March 2022 the President directed the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and its partners from the Executive Office of the President and across federal agencies, to examine: the connections between distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and energy transitions, the potential for these technologies to impede or advance efforts to tackle climate change at home and abroad, and the impacts these technologies have on the environment.

The report, completed now in September, concludes that cryptocurrency mining consumes as much energy as all of the domestic lighting in the United States. And energy use has been tripling since early 2021, with the United States already accounting for a third of the world's cryptocurrency mining.

The report also indicates that global electricity generation for the crypto-assets with the largest market capitalisations resulted in a combined 140 ± 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year (Mt CO2/y), or about 0.3% of global annual GHG emissions.

There is potential for blockchain technologies to play a role in environmental markets, and DLT could potentially enable distributed energy resource coordination, as well as broader supply chain management.

Below some other analysis in the report

  1. Crypto Assets Affect Electricity Usage and the Grid

  2. Electricity usage varies for different types of crypto assets

  3. Crypto-Asset Mining Can Affect Electricity Consumers and the Grid

  4. Future Crypto-Asset Electricity Usage Projections Are Uncertain

  5. Crypto-Assets Result in Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Other Environmental Impacts

  6. Crypto-Asset Mining Using Grid Electricity Generates Greenhouse Gas Emissions — Unless Mining Uses Clean Energy

  7. Environmental Impacts Include Air and Water Pollution, Noise, and Electronic Waste

  8. Emerging Digital Asset Technologies Could Support Climate Monitoring or Mitigation

  9. Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers in Environmental Markets

  10. Blockchain as Enabling Technology for Distributed Energy Resources

Click below to access the 46-page report, of which 10 pages only contain valuable bibliographic references (Endnotes). There are also great charts and tables comparing various cryptocurrencies.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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