Riot Platforms and Texas Blockchain Council challenge EIA’s Bitcoin Mining data demands

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Riot Platforms and Texas Blockchain Council challenge EIA's Bitcoin Mining data demands
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TBC and Riot Platforms sue EIA over Bitcoin data demands, alleging intrusion.
Senator Warren’s involvement is seen as part of a broader political strategy.
Bitcoin mining faces scrutiny for energy consumption, environmental impact.

In a bold move against the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and crypto miner Riot Platforms have filed a lawsuit, alleging unlawful data collection demands targeting the Bitcoin mining sector.

EIA’s data collection plan 

Last month, the EIA announced plans to collect data on electricity consumption by certain US-based crypto miners, effective from early February. Commercial miners were mandated to disclose intricate details, including the types of machines used and the locations of their mining operations. The controversial move followed an emergency approval from the Office of Management and Budget on January 26.

TBC, a non-profit association, expressed concerns over the sensitive nature of the information requested, fearing potential public disclosure. The council sees this as a direct assault on private businesses, characterizing it as a political manoeuvre under the guise of an emergency.

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The TBC points fingers at Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Biden administration, accusing them of orchestrating a targeted effort against the digital asset industry. The EIA’s push for oversight is viewed as an intrusion and a worrying escalation in monitoring and regulating the cryptocurrency sector.

As part of a broader strategy, Senator Warren and other Democratic lawmakers had previously urged major US crypto mining companies to disclose their energy usage. The current legal action represents a firm industry backlash against what is perceived as increased regulatory scrutiny.

Bitcoin Mining realities and environmental considerations

The EIA, in a report dated February 1, highlighted a significant jump in annual electricity consumption by crypto miners, from 0.6% to 2.3%. Despite the benefits of Bitcoin mining, such as network decentralization and profit opportunities, the industry faces growing scrutiny due to its environmental impact.

The Rocky Mountain Institute estimates global Bitcoin mining consumes around 127 terawatt-hours annually. This has sparked debates about the environmental sustainability of the industry. Proponents argue that compared to traditional sectors like banking, Bitcoin’s energy usage is relatively lower, but critics remain concerned about its contribution to global energy consumption.

As the legal battle unfolds, the cryptocurrency industry finds itself at the crossroads of regulatory pressures and environmental accountability, navigating the delicate balance between innovation and responsibility.





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