Full Title: Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Energy Sector
Author(s): Corrie E. Clark and Heather L. Greenley
Publisher(s): Congressional Research Service
Publication Date: August 9, 2019
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The popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology presents both challenges and opportunities to the energy sector. As interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has increased, the energy demand to support cryptocurrency “mining” activities has also increased. The increased energy demand—when localized—can exceed the available power capacity and increase customers’ electricity rates. On the other hand, not all cryptocurrencies require energy-intensive mining operations. Some cryptocurrencies can operate under algorithms that require less energy. In addition, blockchain technologies could present opportunities for the energy sector by facilitating energy and financial transactions on a smart grid.