Texas Blockchain Council and Riot secure win against US energy officials

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The Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and Bitcoin mining firm Riot Platforms have won a favorable ruling from a United States District judge in a lawsuit against several U.S. energy officials.

On Feb. 22, Cointelegraph reported that the TBC and Riot alleged the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and their respective leaderships sought invasive data collection from cryptocurrency miners.

According to a Feb. 23 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the TBC and Riot convinced the judge that irreversible harm would happen without a temporary restraining order (TRO) against further data collection.

As a result, the court enforced a TRO that prohibits the EIA from requiring crypto miners to respond to the survey, as well as prohibiting the EIA from sharing any data that has already been received from the survey.

“The Court finds that Plaintiffs have shown through a verified complaint and supporting evidence that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result if a TRO is not issued.”

The TBC and Riot argued that the potential damages include non-recoverable costs of compliance with the survey, a credible threat of prosecution if they do not comply and the disclosure of proprietary information requested.

Additionally, there was disagreement over the duration of the survey for miners to complete, with no compensation.

Although the EIA estimated a completion time of approximately 30 minutes, the court deemed this estimation “extremely inaccurate.”

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Meanwhile, the TBC and Riot also challenged the estimate, stating that the cost of compliance so far has been over 40 hours.

Based on the evidence provided, the court deemed that TBC and Riot were likely to win the lawsuit. Additionally, it alleged that the EIA misused its authority to have the emergency survey approved, a move the court deemed “falls far short of justifying such an action.”

“[The] Plaintiffs also demonstrate that they are likely to succeed on the merits. The survey was proposed and approved under an emergency provision of the PRA,” the filing noted.

It was further stated that the TRO will lapse before March 25, with its objective for the four weeks to “preserve the status quo.”

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