US Initiates Monitoring of Cryptocurrency Miners' Energy Consumption

US Initiates Monitoring of Cryptocurrency Miners' Energy Consumption

By: Eva Baxter

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has announced that it will commence data collection on the energy consumption rates of cryptocurrency miners across the country. This Provisional survey, scheduled to begin next week, results from an emergency data collection request by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) particularly looking into energy usage of ongoing cryptocurrency mining activities.

Considering the rising Bitcoin prices, crypto mining activity and consequent electricity consumption has notably increased, causing uncertainty in power markets which could further lead to demand peaks affecting system operations and consumer prices. Through this survey, EIA aims to provide more insight into the broader implications of cryptocurrency mining activities in the U.S. and how the demand associated with it is evolving. The agency will primarily focus on identifying geographical areas experiencing significant growth in this sector and quantifying the electricity sources catering to this demand.

Cryptocurrency mining activities in the U.S., especially due to concerns about their implications on power grids and carbon emissions, have garnered significant attention from regulators and lawmakers. In the past few years, after the 2021 ban on such operations in China, the U.S has emerged as a prominent mining hub contributing an average monthly hashrate share of more than 37% as of January 2022.

The mining activities have been criticised for their negative impact on the environment due to high energy usage, however, some industry experts suggest that Bitcoin mining activities can contribute to the stability and efficiency of power systems.

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