The U.S. authorities’ planned survey of Bitcoin miners’ electricity usage has drawn steep criticism from the mining community, describing it as the genesis of “Operation Chokepoint 3.0.”
Miners criticize the survey.
Riot Platforms CEO Jason Les said the survey was “politically motivated, unlawful, and discriminatory” against the miners. According to him, the survey does not serve the public interest but constitutes a political agenda targeting Bitcoin miners and their energy suppliers.
He further expressed concern that such targeting could establish a dangerous precedent and disclosed that legal options are under consideration.
“Our industry is radically transparent, and public data disproves the basis for this mandate. Bitcoin miners helped to stabilize the grid during the recent cold snap,” Les added.
Brian Morgenstern, the head of public policy at Riot Platforms, emphasized the industry’s need to unite against regulatory overreach. He suggested that the government actions might aim to obtain information about energy partners, potentially leading to pressures to cease collaboration with miners.
Meanwhile, the director of Bitcoin Today Coalition, Alex Brammer, said the survey was “egregious and needs to be met with immediate legal action” because it tries to penalize miners who fail to respond.
“They have pre-formatted delinquency notices for those companies that do not respond, which include threats of criminal and civil penalties for non-compliance including a $10,633 fine PER DAY for failure to report,” Brammer said.
Authorities justify survey
In a recent analysis, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) tried to justify the need for its survey by pointing out that U.S. miners might have consumed as much as 2.3 percent of the country’s total electricity demand last year.
“Key challenges associated with tracking cryptocurrency mining energy use include the difficulty of identifying cryptocurrency mining activity among millions of U.S. end-use customers and the dynamic nature of the crypto market, where mining assets can be moved rapidly to areas with lower electricity prices,” the agency added.
Last week, EIA revealed that it would conduct an emergency survey targeting electricity consumption among commercial cryptocurrency miners. The survey, authorized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), aims to gather specific details from these miners about the broader implications of cryptocurrency mining activities in the United States.