This is an opinion editorial by Justin O’Connell is the author and founder of GoldSilverBitcoin.com and a contributor for Bitcoin Magazine.
Socialist regulators around the world want to limit Bitcoin’s consensus method: proof of work. They are cardholders of an environmental, social and governance (ESG) culture, seeking carbon neutrality under the Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015 to limit global warming. In short, they want to roll back civilization to neo-feudal times. Since bitcoin poses competition to central bank fiat currencies, regulators have been instructed by corporate special interest groups that the “Bitcoin experiment” is bad for the environment and must be stopped.
July 16, 2022, United States Senator Dick Durbin tweeted his dissatisfaction with the energy consumption of crypto mining. “It’s time to learn the truth about crypto,” the commie wrote. “Let’s start with the obscene amounts of electricity needed to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Families and businesses in America will pay the price for crypto mining.”
It is important to note that when politicians discuss “crypto” mining in terms of the environmental tax, they are primarily talking about proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, due to their energy intensity. In particular, they talk about Bitcoin.
The United States, home to more than a third of the global computing power dedicated to bitcoin mining, has turned its attention to domestic miners and their impact on the environment and local economies. The move has been commissioned by Socialist Senator Elizabeth Warren, who in June 2021 noted her concern over the environmental impact of mining (PoW).
On December 2, 2021, Senator Warren sent a letter to New York-based bitcoin miner Greenridge Generation, requesting information about the company’s environmental footprint. “Given the extraordinarily high energy use and carbon emissions associated with Bitcoin mining, mining operations at Greenridge and other facilities raise concerns about their impact on the global environment, on local ecosystems and on consumers’ electricity costs,” the letter noted.
On January 20, 2022, a committee hearing on “Cleaning up Cryptocurrency: The Energy Impacts of Blockchains” marked the start of an investigation into blockchain’s environmental impact, with particular emphasis on PoW and Bitcoin.
On January 27, 2022, eight Democratic members of Congress, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, “sent letters to six cryptomining companies raising concerns about their extraordinarily high energy use.”
In the letter, Senator Warren raised the same concerns as in the December 2021 letter to Greenridge, stating that she and her colleagues observed: “Bitcoin mining’s electricity consumption has more than tripled from 2019-2021, rivaling the energy consumption of Washington State, and entire countries such as Denmark, Chile and Argentina.”
Senator Warren requested information from six companies, including Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital Holdings, Stronghold Digital Mining, Bitdeer, Bitfury Group and Bit Digital. The questions revolved around their mining operations, energy consumption, possible impact on the climate and local environments, as well as the effect of electricity costs on US consumers.
On June 3, 2022, New York regulators passed a two-year moratorium on proof-of-work mining in the state, citing New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires New York’s greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by 85% by 2050 Part of the bill requires conducting a government study on the environmental impact of proof-of-work mining.
Representative Anna Kelles sponsored the legislation. “My bill is not a ban on Bitcoin,” Kelles said. “It’s not even a ban on crypto mining. It wouldn’t limit the ability to buy, sell, invest or use crypto [New York state].”
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander feared a strain on energy caused by mining. “New York State is reaching a critical juncture in its effort to electrify the energy sector, and the current proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining in New York State deviates from our goals by increasing our reliance on fossil fuels, thereby creating additional economic stressors and endangering investments for New York City,” he wrote.
The legislation warns against increased mining in the state. “The continued and expanded operation of cryptocurrency mining operations that run proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions will greatly increase the amount of energy use in New York State, and affect compliance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”
The pressure comes not only from regulators and politicians, but also from local bureaucrats. Chelan County, Washington increased hydro rates for bitcoin miners by 29%, effective June 1, 2022. Miners there once paid a lower, high-density load rate for their electricity. “What we did as a commission, and what we did as a utility was industry leading, to create a new rate for this type of demand,” Gary Arseneault, a Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioner, told News Radio 560 KPQ. For mining companies with significant investments, Chelan County has reportedly approved a transition plan to increase prices.
Malachi Salcido, CEO of Salcido Enterprises, said the new rate will force him to convert his mining facilities into data farms. “Do you really want to be in the business of regulating what kind of processing happens on servers in your territory,” Salcido said.
European authorities will also ban bitcoin mining. Swedish financial regulators and the European Commission considered banning proof-of-work, according to documents published by the German website netzpolitik.org.
Released under EU freedom of information laws, the documents show that at a meeting in November 2021, Swedish financial and environmental regulators and the European Commission’s digital policy arm discussed banning trading in proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin.
An unnamed participant did not [the] need to “protect” the bitcoin community,” noting that it should push toward the more environmentally friendly proof-of-stake, as Ethereum had done. The documents were partially redacted due to an “ongoing decision-making process.”
In addition, the head of sustainable finance at the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) proposed a ban on EU mining in MiCA, the EU’s digital asset management legislation. However, the work permit ban was not included in the final bill.
So far, attempts by European lawmakers to ban proof-of-work mining have failed to gain the necessary votes in a vote in the European Parliament’s committee. “It seems that reason and common sense prevailed,” Paris MEP Pierre Person tweeted. “We must continue to defend the principle of technological neutrality. Europe must remain in the global competition!”
According to an anonymous Decrypt source, there were two alternative compromises related to the watered-down version of the ban on unsustainable protocols, all of which were rejected. “The proposal that caused all that mobilization will not be part of [MiCA] text,” the source added, referring to the widespread opposition to a ban on proof of employment.
Furthermore, the European Green Party presented yet another watered-down version of the original text. “Crypto-assets shall be subject to minimum standards of environmental sustainability with respect to their consensus mechanism used to validate transactions, before they are issued, offered or admitted to trading in the Union,” the revised proposal said.
Bitcoin Versus International Communism
Communist regulators, who are in power all over the world, want to ban Bitcoin. Being the gaslighters that they are, they will tell you that they are not banning Bitcoin – only proof-of-work mining, because Bitcoin can adopt proof-of-stake. They are idiots and they will come for proof-of-stake eventually. Say “no” and educate yourself. There is an international sting – a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt – to end the Bitcoin experiment; it will never yield, and neither can those who wish to live in a world of monetary choice.
This is a guest post by Justin O’Connell. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.