The U.S. Senate has set a date to explore the efficiencies – or lack – of blockchain technologies for next week.
According to a public announcement released by the Senate, a full committee meeting – with 23 of the members invited – will be hosted on Tuesday 21st August 2018 in order to discuss the costs of energy consumed by companies using blockchain and similar technologies. The announcement states:
“The purpose of the hearing is to consider the energy efficiency of blockchain and similar technologies and the cybersecurity possibilities of such technologies for energy industry applications”.
“In particular, should we expect electricity prices to increase from rising electricity demand in blockchain applications? In addition, how can we evaluate whether blockchain and similar approaches will soon improve the cybersecurity of computing systems used to supply our energy?”
The announcement also stated that the full hearing will be available to watch via a live webcast on the committee’s website and, in case you miss it and want to watch it afterward, an archived video will be available sometime soon after the hearing is wrapped up. According to the post, there will also be witness testimonies available on the website at the start of the hearing.
Although this is the first case that blockchain with a special attention to its consumption of energy has been the sole focus of a Senate committee hearing, there have been previous committee hearings which have dealt with aspects in the cryptocurrency space. Examples of these are the regulation of digital currency startups and the potential use cases of supply chains.
In March, a subcommittee meeting was held in order to discuss initial coin offerings (ICOs) entitled “Examining the Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets” which marked the first point that the Congress made into stepping into the cryptocurrency space and addressing the impact that blockchain and digital tender might have.