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Taxing Crypto-miners in an Attempt to Reduce Their Environmental Impact 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Although taxation is controversial, that backlash does not discourage its implementation. Like the controversial decision to establish mortgage fees to aid communities who need help, the Biden administration has proposed to tax crypto-miners in an attempt to lessen their role in the environmental crisis. The following defines crypto-mining and introduces the proposal: Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) excise tax and the concerns that follow it. 


Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that does not have a “central authority,” as the U.S. dollar does, to maintain its value. The most popular form of cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. According to “Climate and Energy Implications of Crypto-Assets in the United States,” Bitcoin makes up approximately 60% to 77% of the electricity usage of the global crypto-asset. In order to have this digital currency, Crypto-mining is necessary. Crypto-mining is how new cryptocurrency is created. Clearly put by Capital.com, like “gold miners who spend time and effort to obtain the precious metal, cryptocurrency miners are required to work hard and use electricity to power the process of crypto creation. ”  

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DAME Explained

In the Budget for Fiscal Year 2024, President Biden proposed a Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) excise tax, which will tax firms approximately 30% of their energy usage cost. According to the White House, today “crypto-mining firms do not have to pay for the full cost they impose on others,” but the proposal aims to change this in an attempt to decrease crypto-mining’s energy usage. Although the environmental crisis is a result of many other polluters alongside crypto-currency, crypto-mining emissions are higher than other countries’ emissions: with U.S. Crypto-assets being 27.78% of Global Crypto-Assets’ annual energy usage (Figure 2.1).  


One major concern with this proposal is that banning crypto-mining will encourage miners to mine outside of the U.S. where they will not be taxed for their energy usage. If miners avoid taxation by going to countries or states that will not tax them (as much) for their excess electricity usage, the proposed bill will fail to lessen the environmental crisis. Many are concerned that it would not only fail to reduce the crisis but would worsen matters by making cryptocurrency transactions slower and more vulnerable to security issues, and thus, decrease cryptocurrency’s value. 

Moreover, while there is a growing need to decrease greenhouse gasses, the problem is figuring out how to reduce the harm without worsening circumstances. If the proposal is passed, it would decrease crypto-miner’s energy usage in an attempt to put a stop to its disproportionate environmental impact on low-income and communities of color (Thind et al. 2019) and attempt to decrease pollution and greenhouse gasses as a whole.  Although the proposed taxation is being met with backlash from the mining and cryptocurrency communities, it is important to find ways to reduce our carbon emissions because the environmental crisis impacts everyone. Even if it does not impact wealthier communities now, it will eventually if society does not address the problem and actively work to resolve its harm on the environment.

Lorena is a third-year English and Psychology double major at UCD. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and going to concerts. After graduation, Lorena would like to become a journalist or educator.