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Standing united means the crypto industry wins

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Standing united means the crypto industry wins

On Jan. 26, 2024, the White House sent ripples throughout the cryptocurrency mining community by authorizing the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to conduct an “emergency” survey of cryptocurrency miners.

This mandate was incorrectly framed as a straightforward, 30-minute data collection effort. However, it significantly understated the survey’s complexity and intrusiveness, posing risks of exposing sensitive proprietary information and placing undue burdens on miners. Furthermore, this perceived emergency furthered a narrative that cryptocurrency mining poses a significant danger, relying on meritless justifications for the emergency data request and exacerbating concerns over the sector’s environmental impact without substantial evidence.

This misrepresented mandate not only challenged the industry’s strides toward energy efficiency and regulatory compliance, but also served as a critical wake-up call. It was a call to action — a signal that our industry’s practices and privacy were, once again, under intense scrutiny.

Read more: Crypto miner ire over EIA survey bubbles over to the courtroom

While miners regularly monitor energy usage and market dynamics, the survey’s proposed methodology and justification did not align with the operational realities of cryptocurrency mining. Most significantly, the survey ignored the proactive measures already implemented by miners to ensure energy efficiency and grid stability. For example, the industry’s participation in demand response programs — which mitigate grid stress during peak demand periods — was notably overlooked in the EIA’s rationale, and the survey did not afford miners’ the ability to report these commitments.

Faced with this potential harm, we engaged with the EIA to address our concerns and advocate for a more measured approach. Our goal was not to evade scrutiny, but to ensure that any data collection was reasonable, respectful of proprietary information and conducted in a manner that would not cause unnecessary harm to the industry.

The result of our collective action confirmed that the EIA’s data collection effort was misguided and unjustified. The government’s decision to reconsider the immediate implementation of the survey by rescinding the emergency approval, as well as the survey itself, is a victory for not only cryptocurrency mining but also principled government.

The EIA retains the ability to implement the survey, but only through proper notice and comment rulemaking, affording miners and the broader crypto community to comment on the survey’s scope.

This outcome marks a moment of evolution for the industry. We have collectively demonstrated our ability to push back against government overreach and influence the regulatory process in a way that is both constructive, respectful and fairto our industry’s unique characteristics.

This experience underscores the importance of unity and proactive engagement in facing regulatory challenges. By coming together, we ensured that our voice was heard and that the regulatory approach to our industry would be more informed and balanced.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce and the Texas Blockchain Council views this event not just as a victory for the industry, but as a milestone in our ongoing efforts to foster understanding and fair regulation for digital commerce.

Unfortunately, this likely won’t be the end of our efforts in fighting back against government overreach and calling for regulatory certainty. Nonetheless, this victory is illustrative of the power of collective action.

As we move forward, we will continue to advocate for regulatory clarity and policies that support innovation while protecting consumers and the integrity of the digital economy. We believe that constructive engagement and collaboration with regulatory bodies are essential to achieving these goals.

Perianne Boring is the Founder and CEO of The Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world’s largest trade association representing the blockchain industry. The Chamber’s mission is to promote the acceptance and use of digital assets and blockchain-based technologies. Working with policymakers, regulatory agencies and industry, The Chamber advocates for a pro-growth policy environment that fosters job creation, innovation, and investment.

Perianne was named one of “America’s Top 50 Women in Tech” by Forbes and one of the “10 Most Influential People in Blockchain” by CoinDesk. She appears regularly in the financial media to share insights on digital asset and blockchain innovations and public policy discussions. Prior to forming The Chamber, Perianne served as a television anchor for an international finance program that ran in more than 100 countries and reached over 650 million viewers. She began her career as a legislative analyst in the U.S. House of Representatives, advising on finance, economics, tax, and healthcare policy.

Lee Bratcher is the President and Founder of the Texas Blockchain Council. The Texas Blockchain Council is an industry association with more than 100 member companies and hundreds of individuals that seek to make Texas the jurisdiction of choice for Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain innovation. The TBC helped to research two pieces of blockchain legislation that were passed in the 87th Legislative session and were signed into effect by Governor Abbott. Lee and the TBC team have a specific focus on the regulatory environment around Bitcoin mining in Texas. The TBC hosted the Texas Blockchain Summit in Austin at which speakers like Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Cynthia Lummis and SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce addressed the sold-out audience. He is also a Captain in the US Army reserves working as Tech Scout for the 75th Innovation Command that supports Army Futures Command. Formerly, Lee was a political science professor at Dallas Baptist University teaching international relations and blockchain courses.