Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Cryptocurrency Mining
Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the Ministry has examined the environmental costs of digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, that require large amounts of electricity to derive new units of the currency (“mining”); (b) whether there has been an estimate of the costs of Bitcoin and other related digital currency mining in Singapore; (c) whether these costs are substantial; and (d) whether there has been any consideration of restricting the mining of such currencies in Singapore.
- Mining of cryptocurrencies is currently not regulated in Singapore. We observe that cryptocurrency mining happens predominantly in markets with a cheap supply of electricity. Conversely, our local conditions are not favourable for cryptocurrency mining. Our relatively high land, labour, and electricity costs, coupled with our hot tropical climate, make it expensive to operate cryptocurrency mining. The government will continue to monitor the development of cryptocurrencies and the risks they pose.