Sen. Maria Cantwell has 1 statement(s) about crypto.
"When many people hear blockchain, as you just mentioned, they think of bitcoin, but it is important to note at the outset that these two terms are not synonymous. The cryptocurrency bitcoin is one application of blockchain technology, and bitcoin mining is an issue of significant importance to the State of Washington and one which I will address shortly.
Nevertheless, I see great potential in blockchain technology to have a dramatic impact on the development of a more clean energy economy. At its most basic level, blockchain refers to the ability of individual actors to use independent computers to record and verify digital transactions without the involvement of centralized authority and with very low risk of alteration of that data.
In the energy sector, these attributes of blockchain enable peer-to-peer energy transactions using data-brokered calls that resist manipulation by bad actors which allow electricity consumers to purchase power from specific preferred sources. For instance, neighbor A could buy excess electricity generated by neighbor B's solar PV cells at a preset price. Obviously all the implications for distributed energy and driving down costs are great.
Blockchain technology will handle the transaction, verify the validity of the terms, accurately report to both parties and regulators without the need for a third party. A private investor interested in expanding electric vehicle deployment can install charging infrastructure using blockchain technology to enter into contracts with EV owners for payments for electrons used without having to negotiate into a business relationship. So these are very interesting applications.
Blockchain technology does present other challenges though. For instance, in the State of Washington we are experiencing a tremendous increase in electricity demand attributed to mining of bitcoin. These activities using blockchain processes to earn increments of cryptocurrency is, let's just say, very popular right now. It means that computers and servers churn around the clock and these server farms need a constantly increasing amount of electricity to run and cool the processors.
Because of inexpensive hydropower in Washington, we find ourselves at the forefront of dealing with this issue as our utilities deal with it. To protect against miners driving up the cost and negatively impacting reliability, the central Washington utilities are taking matters into their own hand. I would like to enter into the record a statement from Chelan Public Utility District, so we can have that as part of today's hearing."