Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen is trying to stop Canadian bitcoin miner DMG Blockchain from plugging its mining rigs into the American power grid.
In a letter published Thursday, the nonprofit implored the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to scrutinize, if not outright reject, DMG Blockchain’s bid to export U.S. electricity to Canada and moved to intervene. The group’s Energy Program Director Tyson Slocum and Climate Program Director David Arkush co-wrote the letter.
DMG Blockchain has been aggressively expanding its cryptocurrency mining capacity in recent months. On May 27, the miner tripled its fleet of ASIC miners by adding 1,000 M30s. Two days later, it applied for an application to export U.S. electricity, writing there that its 15 megawatt mining operation will grow to 60 megawatts in the next year.
“The DMG application is unique in that it represents a maiden effort by an energy-hungry cryptocurrency-mining industry to import electricity from the United States to Canada to meet its significant power demands,” Slocum and Arkush said.
They warned DOE an approval could set a dangerous precedent and trigger a “rush” of foreign cryptocurrency miners looking to export U.S. electricity. They called on DOE to slow-walk approval and engage in a lengthy review.
Slocum and Arkush said power utilities in Washington state have banned crypto miners for putting too much load on the grid. Washington butts up against DMG’s home territory of British Columbia, and both locations are attractive to crypto miners because of ample hydropower.
They also suggested DMG’s application may skirt federal laws prohibiting electricity exports that undermine or impair the U.S. power supply. For this, they cited crypto mining’s “staggering” energy waste, its upward impact on energy prices, the possibility that it could interfere with local attempts to introduce renewable power sources and climate change.
“U.S. cryptocurrency miners are struggling to meet their own power demands,” they said.
DMG Blockchain did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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