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Elizabeth Warren questions bitcoin mining, US senator says cryptocurrencies raise environmental concerns

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Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to the CEO of New York mining company Greenidge Generation, Jeff Kirt, requesting details about the company’s emissions. Warren’s letter insists that “Greenidge and other [bitcoin] factories raise concerns about their impacts on the global environment.”

Elizabeth Warren targets bitcoin mining operations

Former law professor and US Democratic Senator for Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren took over cryptocurrency mining operations after criticizing digital currency markets recently. In mid-September, Warren urged the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to further investigate digital currency oversight. Warren has also spoken out against cryptocurrency mining in the past, citing the environmental impact of bitcoin mining on several occasions.

On Dec. 2, Warren shared a letter she sent to the CEO of New York-based mining company Greenidge Generation Holdings, Jeff Kirt, with the Bloomberg press release. “Given the extraordinarily high energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with mining bitcoins, the mining operations of Greenidge and other factories raise concerns about their impacts on the global environment, ecosystems, facilities and electricity costs for consumers,” explains Warren’s letter. The US senator also tweeted the Bloomberg article through her official Twitter account, adding:

Crypto mining has huge environmental costs and drives up energy prices for consumers. Bitcoin consumes as much energy as Washington State. I call on the Bitcoin [Greenidge Generation] company to provide information about its operations and its environmental impact.

Warren: “We need to better understand the amount of energy used by facilities like Greenidge.”

According to Bloomberg contributing author Josh Saul, this is “the first time Warren has interviewed a specific minor.” The Massachusetts senator also told Bloomberg that lawmakers need to better understand these mining facilities. “We need to better understand how many energy facilities like Greenidge use, how much they emit into the environment and what impact they have on electricity prices for American consumers,” Warren said.

Bitcoin miner Greenidge Generation has repeatedly stated that the company uses green solutions to extract bitcoin (BTC). The Greenidge Generation plant in Dresden, New York, uses “natural gas to generate electricity.” In addition, “Greenidge Generation is operating at new levels of thermodynamic efficiency, reaching historically low levels in the cost of generating electricity”, explains the company.

Greenidge is operated by Atlas Holdings, and the company’s website explains that the company buys carbon offset credits. Several other bitcoin mining operations also take advantage of carbon credit solutions and renewable energy solutions.

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