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US EIA to scrap Bitcoin mining survey data, seeks public input for new proposal

us-eia-to-scrap-bitcoin-mining-survey-data-seeks-public-input-for-new-proposal
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US EIA to scrap Bitcoin mining survey data, seeks public input for new proposal

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has made a decision to discard all data collected from its emergency Bitcoin mining survey, according to recent court filings.

This action agreed upon with the Texas Blockchain Council, also applies to any subsequent data received. The documents detail the EIA’s commitment to “sequester and keep confidential” such information until its destruction, effectively concluding the temporary restraining order in place until March 8, which had stopped the EIA from data collection amid ongoing legal proceedings.

Following this resolution, the EIA is set to initiate a 60-day period inviting public feedback in preparation for a new notice on data collection. This step indicates the agency’s openness to considering public input prior to advancing with any new data collection efforts.

The latest development follows a lawsuit filed in February by the Texas Blockchain Council and Riot Platforms, who argued that the EIA’s mandatory survey constituted unauthorized data collection from the cryptocurrency industry. They claimed this action breached the Paperwork Reduction Act due to a lack of due process.

The lawsuit reflects wider concerns among cryptocurrency entities regarding regulatory examination, especially concerning energy consumption.

The opposition from the Texas Blockchain Council frames the EIA’s survey as part of a wider governmental strategy aimed at regulating the digital asset industry. They characterized it as an unwarranted intrusion on private businesses, suggesting it reflects a coordinated effort by Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Biden Administration to extend regulatory oversight across the digital asset spectrum.

As part of the settlement, the EIA will reimburse the Texas Blockchain Council $2,199.45 for legal expenses incurred up to March 1, 2024. Furthermore, both parties have agreed not to seek further legal action and will request the court to dismiss the case.

Meanwhile, Riot Platforms and CleanSpark have announced major expansions. Riot Platforms has added 31,500 Bitcoin mining machines to its operations, and CleanSpark has finalized the acquisition of three new facilities.

These strategic moves are aimed at enhancing operational efficiency in anticipation of the upcoming Bitcoin halving event. This event is expected to halve the mining reward from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC, potentially impacting the financial viability of mining operations.

Analysts from Galaxy Digital have suggested that the halving could lead to a substantial decrease in the network hash rate for certain mining models, highlighting the importance of strategic investments to stay competitive in the evolving market landscape.

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