What Happened: In a senate hearing on Wednesday, U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren called for lawmakers in the country to take a more direct approach to address the problems posed by cryptocurrencies.
“Cryptocurrency has created opportunities to scam investors, assist criminals, and worsen the climate crisis,” she said.
“The threats posed by crypto show that Congress and federal regulators can’t continue to hide out, hoping that crypto will go away. It won’t. It’s time to confront these issues head-on.”
Why It Matters: Warren, who was a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination during the 2020 presidential election, believes that aside from the threats to the economy, the adverse environmental impact of mining cryptocurrencies is a cause for concern.
“Many cryptocurrencies are created using proof-of-work mining,” stated the senator. “Such mining has devastating consequences for the climate. Some crypto mining is set up near coal plants, spewing out the filth in return for a chance to harvest a few crypto coins. Total energy consumption is staggering, driving up demand for energy.”
Warren also shared a clip of her speaking out against cryptocurrencies in a Twitter post, saying cracking down on cryptocurrencies is one of the “easiest and least disruptive things we can do to fight the climate crisis.”
Her post was not well received by cryptocurrency advocates, who pointed out that several industries and appliances, including Christmas lights, use more energy than Bitcoin.
Image: Gage Skidmore on Wikimedia Commons
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