Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The mind boggling energy burn required to verify each bitcoin payment or currency transfer is finally attracting the attention of Democrat Party climate advocates.
A Silicon Valley congressman says energy consumption from Bitcoin mining needs to be taxed
And all that power usage — and its effect on the environment — is catching attention on Capitol Hill. In an interview with Business Insider, California Rep. Ro Khanna said that Bitcoin mining should be regulated in the same fashion as proposed carbon taxes.
“You could have environmental regulations of what could be used or a tax on the use of the mines that are going into the bitcoin, so that if they have externalities that they’re causing the environment, that they have to pay a tax on that,” he said.
Khanna, who represents part of Silicon Valley, added that a tax on bitcoin transactions’ energy consumption “would provide a disincentive” and “that mining that’s being used for bitcoin, they need to be paying a price on it.”
Reading his Wikipedia entry, Congressman Ro Khanna seems to have an unusual mix of qualities for a Democrat. In 2016 Khanna was vice president of a green utility business, aimed at improving energy efficiency. Khanna is very pro-education, he supported Bernie Sander’s college for all initiative. Khanna also sponsored a successful bipartisan Veterans education bill, the Valor Act. Khanna appears to be a hardline non-interventionist with regard to foreign policy.
It seems pretty ballsy for a Congressman whose district includes part of Silicon Valley to criticise Bitcoin, even though I disagree with his reasoning and conclusion. Fortune favours the bold.