U.S. government reaches settlement with cryptocurrency mining companies and industry groups, agrees to halt investigation of energy use by cryptocurrency miners

The Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and Riot Platforms, a Texas-based Bitcoin mining company, have filed an injunction in federal court against the U.S. Department of Energy’s attempt to collect data from virtual currency mining companies. , it was revealed that the two sides had reached a settlement. The Department of Energy says it will cease data collection, and crypto mining companies call it a ‘historic victory.’

(PDF file) https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.txwd.1172776308/gov.uscourts.txwd.1172776308.24.0.pdf

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The Energy Information Administration, a statistical and analytical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, announced in February 2024 that it would begin an emergency investigation into virtual currency mining companies in response to an ‘urgent data collection request.’

US Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis

Cryptocurrency mining uses a significant amount of electricity, as it requires extensive calculations to decrypt new tokens to be added to the blockchain. In the United States, where two-fifths of all Bitcoins are mined, it is estimated that up to 2.3% of total electricity demand comes from mining operations, and cryptocurrency mining releases up to 50 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. It is said that it has been done. Therefore, the Energy Information Administration hastily launched an investigation into energy consumption.

But TBC and Riot Platforms have filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas seeking an injunction to stop the Energy Information Administration from collecting the data, arguing that the investigation was the product of a sloppy government process. Then, on February 23, 2024, the court issued a preliminary order blocking the Energy Information Administration from collecting data.

On March 1, 2024, the Department of Energy reported to the court that it had reached a settlement with plaintiffs TBC and Riot Platforms. The Department of Energy will destroy all information collected so far and withdraw from future investigations. They also promised to provide advance notice of any future investigations and to accept public comments.

‘We look forward to working with companies in the crypto mining industry, as we do with other industries, to provide the American public with a clear understanding of the energy consumption of U.S. crypto mining operations,’ the Department of Energy said in a statement. did.

‘The government abused its emergency powers to attack a legitimate industry for political purposes,’ said TBC Chairman Lee Bratcher. It is a threat and we are glad that we were able to stop the government from doing so.’ Additionally, the Digital Chamber of Commerce, an American lobbying group, called the agreement a historic victory for cryptocurrency mining.


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