Cryptocurrencies have caused significant upheaval in the financial world in recent years. However, growing concerns about the mining of these digital assets have brought issues like energy consumption and environmental impact to the forefront. In the United States, a new lobbying group has emerged that focuses on sustainability aspects related to the crypto-mining industry: the Digital Energy Council.
Formation and Objectives of the Digital Energy Council
Established on August 15th, the Digital Energy Council is an organization aimed at advancing policies that promote both digital asset mining and energy development. The founder and president of the council is Thomas Mapes, an experienced figure in the energy sector. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Mapes emphasized the importance of uniting digital asset miners into a collective voice in the United States, considering this unity a long overdue step.
Crypto Mining and the Energy Ecosystem
Thomas Mapes argues that crypto-mining companies play a significant role within the energy ecosystem. He believes that these companies contribute to the energy ecosystem by supplying energy to the grid during periods of high demand or purchasing excess unused energy over time. However, they offer advantages not only in terms of energy consumption but also in terms of environmental sustainability.
Mapes views crypto mining companies as potential future energy companies and expresses his belief in the significant potential within this field. He notes that energy providers and service companies are working to understand how they can leverage the opportunities presented by this new technology.
“I see energy companies, utility companies, power providers — the big majors — all taking a look at this new technology and figuring out ways they can get involved in this.”
Challenges and Obstacles
However, the sustainability efforts of the crypto-mining industry have caught the attention of regulators. Mapes highlights the emergence of laws in recent years that have been critical of the industry. Criticisms of energy consumption by crypto miners and concerns about environmental impacts have especially intensified.
The Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works reintroduced a legislative proposal accusing crypto miners of unnecessarily burdening public energy grids and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, factors such as the proposed 30% consumption tax on digital asset mining and reports on the environmental impact of crypto mining, suggested by the Biden administration, are also affecting the industry.
Role and Future of the Digital Energy Council
The Digital Energy Council encompasses a multitude of organizations involved in crypto mining and energy activities in the United States. These include both crypto-mining companies and energy firms. The association aims to bring together representatives from these sectors to create a common platform. It is important to note, however, that their current focus is solely within the United States. Thomas Mapes and his team aim to contribute to the creation of a more sustainable future by uniting stakeholders from the energy sector and crypto mining industry.