Report Reveals Game-Changing White House Crypto Plans That Could Have A Serious Bitcoin And Ethereum

The Biden administration is working on a set of policy recommendations targetting bitcoin and crypto's sky-high energy consumption and carbon footprint, according to a report.

The bitcoin network's blistering energy consumption is the subject of increasingly intense scrutiny from environmental activists and regulators around the world. In March, European Union documents revealed the extent of anti-bitcoin sentiment among officials—and their desire to push bitcoin toward a less energy-intensive mining model, such as the one ethereum is moving towards.

Now, as the price of bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies brace for an economic "hurricane," one White House official has said "climate and energy" need to be considered when developing digital assets such as bitcoin and ethereum.

"It’s important, if this is going to be part of our financial system in any meaningful way, that it’s developed responsibly and minimizes total emissions," Costa Samaras, principal assistant director for energy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, told Bloomberg Law. "When we think about digital assets, it has to be a climate and energy conversation."

The bitcoin price has swung wildly over the last year, with ethereum and other smaller cryptocurrencies making similar moves.

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, has begun the process of transitioning to the less energy demanding proof-of-stake mining model that allows cryptocurrency holders to "stake" their coins on the network to secure it, confirm transactions and create new coins. Ethereum's long-awaited upgrade was begun late last year and could be completed in a matter of months.

"We need to think about what would be the appropriate policy responses under a world that shifted to proof-of-stake, or a world that has some continuous mix of proof-of-work and proof-of-stake," Samaras said. "Proof-of-work is energy-intensive by design, but it also increases security."

The report could be one of the first following president Joe Biden’s March executive order that directed federal agencies to get a handle on the fast-growing crypto market and industry and publish reports that could guide the administration's policy decisions.

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