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White House Calls For Report That Will Address Digital Asset Energy Implications

March 21, 2022

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
March 21, 2022

A recent executive order issued by President Biden calls for a report that will, among other things, address the implications of digital asset technology for energy policy.

President Biden issued the “Executive Order On Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” on March 9.

Within 180 days of the date of the order, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy will need to submit a report to the President on the connections between distributed ledger technology and short-, medium-, and long-term economic and energy transitions; the potential for these technologies to impede or advance efforts to tackle climate change at home and abroad; and the impacts these technologies have on the environment.

The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy will prepare the report in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, the Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor, and the heads of other relevant agencies.

“The report should also address the effect of cryptocurrencies’ consensus mechanisms on energy usage, including research into potential mitigating measures and alternative mechanisms of consensus and the design tradeoffs those may entail,” the executive order said.

The report should specifically address:

  • Potential uses of blockchain that could support monitoring or mitigating technologies to climate impacts, such as exchanging of liabilities for greenhouse gas emissions, water, and other natural or environmental assets; and
  • Implications for energy policy, including as it relates to grid management and reliability, energy efficiency incentives and standards, and sources of energy supply

The term “blockchain” refers to distributed ledger technologies where data is shared across a network that creates a digital ledger of verified transactions or information among network participants and the data are typically linked using cryptography to maintain the integrity of the ledger and execute other functions, including transfer of ownership or value.