The US Senate remains tired of the extraction of cryptocurrencies, but looks positive on Blockchain technology
Wednesday, the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources together to discuss yet another problem with cryptocurrency. Rather than discussing its value or classification, the discussion seemed to surround the costs involved in the extraction of cryptocurrencies within the country. The theme of blockchain technology also had a leading role in the meeting.
Most cryptocurrency meetings have been a place to offer new information, considering that a considerable number of representatives have little or no experience with cryptography. The speakers during this meeting came from a wide range of opinions, offering details of the public and private sectors. The previous thought meeting was hostile, at its best, this meeting took a slightly less vulgar turn.
The senators of the Energy Committee were mainly interested in the concept of blockchain and wanted to investigate various cases of use that could help the government. Numerous speakers provided their official testimonies on the subject, including:
- Robert Kahn of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives
- Paul Skare of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Thomas Golden of the Research Institute Electric Power  Claire Henly of the Energy Web Foundation
- Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University
Based on the observations of Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the point of the hearing is for them to:  "Examine any IT security benefits that blockchain and similar technologies could offer other ways to protect our energy infrastructure."
The greatest risk discussed seemed to be in reference to the energy that spends the mineral cryptocurrency. Any work-proof network (PoW) uses an impressive amount of energy, including additional energy to demonstrate the actions taken. Golden has assumed these concerns, stating that the range in use can range from 1 to 5 gigawatts, further clarifying, "this is less than 0.1 percent of global energy use."
When Murkowski replied, he said that the use of this energy within the United States can put more pressure on service providers, threatening the safety and function of the electricity grid. For this reason, he asked:
"We can anticipate the percentages of consumers and the concern that someone could have this," I and my family might not be the ones who benefit from blockchain and bitcoin and yet I wonder are are mine expecting rates to pay for this infrastructure? "
Senator Steve Daines also intervened, wondering how communities can even prepare for this inflow of energy. Golden suggested that the community and electrical companies work together, which would help solve infrastructure problems.
Henly admitted that the amount of energy used for Bitcoin is "a substantial concern" and proposed another solution. He mentioned the idea of finding an alternative to the proof of work protocol, which would eliminate the need for more power. He stressed that proof-of-stake (PoS) and proof-of-authority (PoA) protocols were a much better option for energy expenditure and would help to scale down the blockchain without increasing the supply of energy that mining already uses.  There have been many times that the discussion has shifted away from potential concerns and has instead shed light on how blockchain technology could be integrated. Tracking shipments, security protocols and other technological advances are all areas where blockchain has been used in other companies and industries, so why not the US government? Senator Maria Cantwell's opening statement focused specifically on the safety of the blockchain.
Other senators also had their own questions about this concept, showing their interest in learning the other elements of the blockchain, apart from the cryptocurrency. The privacy of transactions and the maintenance of flexibility with the forces of order were a concern for Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, while Senator Bill Cassidy wanted to inquire about specific uses that could fit the government. In particular, he wanted to know if blockchain could track shipments between nations, which is possible. However, it would require cooperation on both sides of the agreement
Just like any other hearing, no concrete solutions or decisions have been established. However, by opening the door to lawmakers to learn more from the individuals who manage these types of activities, the door is open for further explanation for a possible resolution.