By Elise Hansen (October 25, 2021, 5:13 PM EDT) — Cryptocurrency’s explosion into the mainstream is thrusting crypto mining into the spotlight, raising questions about miners’ use of electrical power and their role in underpinning an emerging, multibillion-dollar market.

Cryptocurrency mining refers to the process of verifying digital-asset transactions — in other words, allowing a transaction to “go through” and be included on a blockchain, which is the official transaction record.

Mining has become increasingly big business as digital assets such as bitcoin and Ethereum see massive gains in price and trading volume. Over the past year, various mining outfits have achieved milestones such as going public, raising venture financing, big-ticket…