Crypto Mining Could Be Raising Your Electric Bill

Several Senators are calling for more data to be released

Crypto mining
A cryptocurrency mining rig equipped with Nvidia Geforce GPU at the Thailand Crypto Expo 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Andre Malerba/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It is no secret that cryptocurrency mining uses a copious amount of energy — an amount that, in some cases, exceeds the power required by entire nations. When that aspect of crypto comes up, it’s generally spoken about in terms of its effect on emissions. But according to the results of a recent Senate investigation, crypto mining might also be contributing to larger energy bills around the country.

That’s one of the big takeaways from this article at The Guardian, which comes on the heels of a letter signed by several members of Congress and addressed to the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. Among the letter’s goals is to “request that your agencies work together to require emissions and energy use reporting by cryptominers.”

“The current energy use of cryptomining is resulting in large amounts of carbon emissions and other adverse air quality impacts, as well as impacts to the electric grid,” the letter states. “And it is worth noting that pledges like the Crypto Climate Accord are non-binding and do not hold cryptominers to specific actions.”

The report also cites the example of Plattsburgh, New York, where residential users experienced increased power bills in 2018 due to extensive crypto mining. Factoring in the stresses that crypto mining can put on utility systems and you have a situation in which crypto can affect people even if they have no interest whatsoever in Bitcoin, Ethereum or Dogecoin.

It’s hard not to see how knowing more about energy use could be a bad thing. And if one of the effects of this is a more widespread spike in power bills for people not engaged in crypto mining, the importance of this data is even more clear. The Congressional letter calls for action to be taken; we’ll see what, if anything, the result of that might be.

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