The U.S. Energy Information Administration is starting to collect data on electricity consumption from cryptocurrency mining firms, which has sparked criticism in the community.

The survey will begin next week and ask “identified” commercial miner to provide details about their energy usage. The Office of Management and Budget authorized the survey as an urgent collection of data on Jan. 26, the EIA stated in a Press Release.

In a statement, EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis stated that “we intend to continue analyzing and writing about the energy consequences of cryptocurrency mining activities” in the United States. We will focus on the evolution of energy demand in cryptocurrency mining, identify geographical areas with high growth and quantify electricity sources used to meet the cryptocurrency mining demand.

Some participants called on miners to avoid the survey. Marty Bent is a bitcoin enthusiast and director of mining company Catherdra Bitcoin. He said in a recent blog post that it appears the EIA has begun to “create an hyperdetailed registry” of mining activities in the U.S.

When I first read the press release, and then the filing, my initial thought was Interesting. Bent wrote that this could be a positive development for the industry. Bent wrote that after digging deeper he found the survey to be “one of the most Orwellian things” he’d seen from this Administration, as it required very detailed data such as information about mining fleets, hash rates, and other specific data.

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Since the crypto mining process went from requiring only a laptop, to industrial-scale installation, both sides have voiced strong opinions.

A group of Democratic legislators in Washington, D.C., headed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, (D-Mass. ), sent a letter last year to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy, asking them to compel crypto miners to disclose their energy consumption data. wrote a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to compel crypto-miners to reveal their energy consumption data.

The new EIA surveys seem to have struck a chord with the mining industry because it seems to be mandatory for commercial miners by Federal Law to respond to the survey.

In a Social Media Post on X, Alex Brammer said, “They have delinquency notifications pre-formatted for those companies who do not respond. These notices include threats of civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance, including a fine of $10,633 per day for failure to report.” This is an egregious act that requires immediate legal action.

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Sheldon Reback is the editor.